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AU righU rearmed 

* *« 



Set up and dectiotyped. Published April, 1907. 


• • 

• • 

• ■ 

• • • 


« • 


J. B. OoflhlDg A Co. — Berwick A Bmlth Go. 
Norwood, Mass.. U.B Jl 


With the publication of the present volume the pledge 
made three years ago is redeemed, and the treatment of the 
seventeenth century as contemplated in the plan of this work 
is' completed. The volume will be found to contain both 
more and less than a history of British colonial administra- 
tion in America during the period under review. It con- 
tains more than this, because an effort has been made to 
trace the internal development of Virginia during a large 
part of the century, and special attention has been given 
to domestic relations in the other royal provinces as in suc- 
cession they appeared. The history of the royal provinces 
is more than a history of imperial administration, though 
the two are closely interwoven ; and in tracing it the author 
should never forget that he is still standing upon American 
soil. His outlook is broader than it was when he was consid- 
ering the chartered colonies, but it is not radically different. 

The book contains less than a history of British colonial 
administration, because the island colonies, with Newfound- 
land and Nova Scotia, are for the most part left out of 
account. In the opinion of the British merchant and offi- 
cial the island colonies and the northernmost dominions 
appeared to be the most important. Their affairs received 
proportionally greater attention than did those of the inter- 
mediate continental colonies ; their trade was more valuable 
to Great Britain and came far less directly into competition 
with British industry than did the trade of the northern 
colonies. From this comparative estimate proceeded a 
course of development which had not a little to do with 
the revolt of the continental colonies and their indepen- 
dence at the end. But though this group of colonies was 
less thoroughly ^^administered" than were the islands, yet 
their experience amply illustrates all the phases of the 


British system of control. In the present volume an at- 
tempt has for the first time been made to trace the history 
of this control as a distinct and separate feature of coloniza- 
tion. Attention has been directed to the organs through 
which it was exercised, to the objects and ideals which were 
pursued, and to the obstacles which prevented their attain- 
ment. The early stage of development only has been traced ; 
the heart of the subject has been reached. If the inquiry 
can be pursued through the period of the French wars, and 
the processes of control as applied to the royal provinces be 
revealed, a body of precedent will be collected and a point 
of view attained, in the light of which the events of the 
colonial revolt will appear in their proper relief. 

For valuable suggestions in reference to the commercial 
policy of England, I am indebted to Mr. George Louis Beer. 
The preparation of the manuscript for the press has been 
greatly facilitated by the assistance of my wife. 

Columbia Univxrsitt, 
Jannaxy, 1907. 








Analogy between chartered colonies and privileged commercial com- 
panies 8 

Significance of imperial control 4 

In this case it does not consist in the goyemment of alien peoples . 4 
It does consist in the remoteness of the colonies from the centre of 

government 6 

Distinction between the realm and the dominions 7 

There was no distinction in law 8 

But there was a great difference in fact 9 

Lack of administrative unityf combined with an unlimited right of 

control, gave rise to a novel political structure ... 10 

Neither royal officials nor colonists understood its character . . 11 

Organs of imperial control 12 

Early instances of acts of parliament which mentioned the dominions 12 

Early efforts to bring colonial affairs before parliament ... 13 
Sense in which English common law and statutes were in force in 

the colonies 14 

The executive was the only branch of the English government which 
was continuously concerned with the colonies. Reason for 

this 16 

Officials and boards that were concerned with executive control . 15' 
Functions of the privy council in early times — correspondence, 

hearings, orders 16 

Routine connected with issue of royal charters .... 19 

Colonial agents and royal commissions 21 

In the history of imperial control the central fact is the transition from 

the system of chartered colonies to that of royal provinces . 23 

Needs and motives which led to this ...... 23 






The importance of the reddenoe of the coiporation in qneetions of this 

kind 26 

The assistance which, through diplomacy, the king had early given to 

the Virginia enterprise 26 

The atUtade of the crown toward the company when under the Sandys- 
Southampton management 26 

The king inclines to interfere in the election of treasurer, 1620 and 

1622 26 

The early a^tude of crown and parliament toward the production 

of tobacco 28 

Proclamations of 1619, and rates of duty 29 

Controyersy between the company and Abraham Jacob . 80 

Efforts of goyemment to suppress the production of tobacco in the 

realm 81 

Monopoly of importation granted to Sir Thomas Roe and others for 

1620 32 

The Virginia company plans to market its tobacco in the Nether- 
lands 32 

This course forbidden by the priyy council. An early, though 

partial, assertion of the policy of the staple .... 33 
The proposed contract of the Virginia and Somen islands companies 
with the king for the ezclusiye importation of tobacco for seyen 

years, 1622 34 

Negotiations and proposals ........ 34 

Terms of the contract 36 

Plans and estimates for administration under the contract . • 86 

Debates on the subject in Virginia company 86 

The prosecution of ex-goyemor Argall reacts upon the question 36 

Samuel Wrote attacks the Earl of Southampton and his associates . 37 
Indications of eztrayagance in Sandys*s management ... 38 
Debates oyer salaries of those who were to haye charge of the sale 

of tobacco under the contract 39 

Dissensions reported to the king 41 

Hearing before the priyy council 41 

Sandys defends the company 42 

A royal commission of inquiry appointed at request of Alderman 

Johnson, 1623 43 

Exaggerated accounts by Captain Nathaniel Butler of suffering in 

Virginia after the Indian massacre of 1622 .... 44 
Defence, by Sandys and his associates, of the policy of the com- 
pany against the attacks of the Warwick-Johnson faction • 46 
The king supports the latter and orders the company to decide 
whether or not it would surrender its charter and accept a 
new one '47 



The company votes not to surrender 48 

<itio toarranto proceedings ordered 49 

The royal commissioners attempt to collect evidence against the 

company in Virginia 49 

The dissolution of the Virginia company nnder process of quo vxxrratUo 

before King's Bench, 16^ 61 

Rblatiohs bbtwbbm thb English Gotbrhmbxt ahd BLlssaohusbtts 


Removal of Massachusetts company into New England a challenge to 

English government 64 

Policy of early Stuarts was ostensibly one of strong executive control 

over colonies. Proclamation of 1626 66 

Events which occasioned interference of English government with 

Massachusetts 66 

Interests of Gorges family prejudiced by Massachusetts grant . 66 

Complaints by Morton and Ratclifl 67 

Case of Sir Christopher Gardiner 67 

Petition by complainants in 1682 69 

Hearing and rejection of petition by privy council .... 60 

Archbishop Laud joins Gorges and Morton in opposition ... 61 

Rapid settlement of New England by Puritans alarms Laud . . 61 

Administration of oath of allegiance to emigrants, February, 1684 . 62 
Creation of board of commissioners for trade and plantations, April, 

1684. Composition and powers of this board 62 

Massachusetts charter ordered to be produced 63 

Edward Winslow sent as agent to England 64 

His hearings and imprisonment 66 

Surrender of charter of New England council, 1686 .... 66 

Gorges to be sent to New England as governor general ... 66 

Massachusetts prepares to resist Gorges 67 

Failure of Gorges^ plan to cross the Atlantic 68 

Suit under writ of quo warranto against Massachusetts charter . . 69 

The Massachusetts company not dissolved 70 



Intimacy of early relations between Virginia and England • 
Boyal commission of 1624 to regulate Virginia afEairs . 

Early correspondence between Virginia and the crown . 

Agency of Sir George Yeardley, 1626 . . . . 

Virginia receives less direct aid than under the company 




Internal deyelopment of Virginia . . . . . .79 

Land grants and quit rents 70 

Extension of settlement Origin of counties and parishes . 80 

Failure to develop towns 82 

Judicial system of Virginia 83 

The governor and council. Their support and the general charac- 
ter of royal appointments 84 

Form of early commissions to the goyemors 86 

The grand assembly. Its control, especially oyer appropriations 

and expenditures 87 

Belations between the governor, council, and assembly illustrated by 

the admhiistration of John Harvey, 1628-1689 ... 91 

Reflex influence of the grant of Maryland on Virginia ... 91 

Early efforts of Claiborne to hold Kent island as Virginia territory 92 

Personal unpopularity of Harvey in Virginia 96 

Dependent position in which he stood toward the council . . 98 
Defeat of Claiborne in 1635 provokes an uprising against Harvey in 

Virginia 98 

Harvey sent back to England by the council 100 

Harvey restored to his province by king and privy council . . 101 

Continued complaints against Harvey and Secretary Kemp . 101 

Hie commissions and instructions of Wyatt (1639) and Berkeley (1641) 102 


Colonial Policy dubino thb IirrBBRBONnK 

General character of the period in England 105 

Parliament the immediate source of authority, executive as well as 

legislative 106 

Creation by parliament of a new board of commissioners for planta- 
tions, November, 1643 107 

Its powers as compared with those of the previous board . .107 

The friendly relations between it and New England . . 107 
Virginia and some of the island colonies inclined toward an hostile 

attitude 108 

New England affairs during the Civil War 109 

Puritan emigration checked 109 

New England ministers decline to take part in Westminster As- 
sembly 109 

Roger Williams as agent in England, 1644 109 

The Grortonists seek redress in England 110 

Edward Winslow sent to defend Massachusetts, 1647 . . .111 
The status quo about Narragansett Bay maintained . . .112 

Hie struggle in Maryland during the Civil War 112 

Outbreak of Civil War occasions renewed activity on the part of 

enemies of the Calverts 112 

First visit of Richard Ingle, 1644 113 



Second yisit of Ingle. He and Claiborne unite and seize control of 

the goyemment, 1646 118 

Baltimore saves his interests, both in England and in the province, 

by appointing William Stone, a Protestant, as governor, 1648 114 

Changes in organization of English executive after execation of the king 114 
Creation of cooncil of state and large development of committee 

system 114 

Changes incident to establishment of Protectorate 115 

Enforcement of subndssion to parliament in the provinces of Barba- 

does, Antigua, the Bermudas, and Virginia .... 116 

Preliminary inquiries by admiralty committee .... 117 

Act of 1660, prohibiting trade with those colonies .... 118 
Appointment, under authority of this act, of a commission to 

enforce submission in those colonies 119 

Reduction of the island colonies 119 

Personnel and work of the commission in Virginia . . .119 

Opposition of Berkeley quieted . . . .- . .121 

Terms of settlement vrith assembly and with governor and council, 

1662 122 

Choice of governor and other officials intrusted to the assembly 124 

Peaceful continuance of this system in Virginia until the Restoration 125 
Bennett and Claiborne suspend proprietary government in Mary- 
land and require express submission to Commonwealth, March, 

1662 126 

Hearing in England, favorable to Baltimore. Cromwell virites to 

Bennett 128 

Baltimore orders Stone to fully retetablish his government, July, 

1664 129 

Bennett, Claiborne, and the Puritans overthrow Stone's govern- 
ment. Assembly at Patuxent, October, 1664 .... 130 

Stone resumes government, early in 1666 131 

Battle on the Severn. Defeat of proprietary party . . 131 
Though no decision was reached in England, the decline of the 
Protectorate insured the i>ermanent re^stablishment of Lord 

Baltimore's authority 132 

Attitude of the Commonwealth and Protectorate toward colonization in 

general 133 

Outburst of national energy 133 

Revival of hatred toward Spain 134 

War with the Dutch. Expedition of Sedgwick .... 134 
Reasons for peaceful relations with France prevail . 135 
Expeditions against Hispaniola and conquest of Jamaica . 136 
Cromwell's plan to people Jamaica by colonists from New England 137 
These events bring the island colonies into prominence 139 
Continued naval oi>erations in the West Indies and vigorous impe- 
rial control over these colonies 140 

Plan of Thomas Povey and others for the creation of a council for 

America and for other reforms 141 


Thb Bbbtoration and the Rotal CoMMiBsioir or 1664 


The event of first importance after the Restoration was the conquest d 

New Netherland 143 

The event of second importance waa the settlement of the Carolinas . 144 
Next in importance to the acquisition of those territories was the devel- 
opment of the policy by which they were to be governed . 144 
Continued activity of Thomaa Povey and his associates after the 

Restoration 146 

Joseph Williamson and Samuel Maverick 146 

All culminated in the activities of the group of officials and states- 
men (mainly Tory) who surrounded the Duke of York . 147 

Early committees on colonial affairs 147 

Establishment of council for trade and council for foreign plantations, 

November and December, 1660 149 

Membership and powers of these bodies 160 

Business which early came before the plantation board . 162 

The circular letter of spring of 1661 163 

Restoration of normal provincial government in Virginia .163 

Afbirs in New England and the encroachments of the Dutch demand 

immediate attention 164 

The attempt to adjust relations in New England 166 

The plantation board receives petitions from the enemies of Massa- 
chusetts 167 

Statements of Edward Godfrey, of the younger Gorges, of Captain 
Breedon, of the proprietors of the iron works at Lynn, of the 

Quakers 167 


Correspondence of Samuel Maverick with Clarendon 
John Leverett informs Massachusetts of attack upon her 
She sends her first address to the king .... 
Her instructions to the agents — policy of passive resistance 

Slight concessions in New England 

Royal letter of February, 1661, to Massachusetts 

Massachusetts again defines its powers as a body politic 

Leverett throws up his agency, and, after a sharp report on the 

petitions from the plantation board, the privy council takes the 

matter into its own hands 166 

Massachusetts sends Rradstreet and Norton aa agents . 166 

They bring back the king's letter of 1662. Its requirements . . 167 

Action of general court thereon 168 

Efforts of Mason and Gorges to assert their claims, both in Eng- 
land and New England 168 

Home government fidls, owing to lack of officials of its own in 

New England 171 

Resort had to a royal commission, 1664. Its doings in New England . 171 
Personnel of Uie commission ........ 171 



Instractions to the commiasion 172 

Its attempt to settle the western boundary of Connecticat • . 176 

Early experiences in Massachusetts 177 

Visit to the southern colonies of New England .... 178 
Betum to Boston and struggle with the general court and magis- 
trates over its claim to hear appeals 183 

Visit of commissioners to northern New England .... 186 

Their failure. Their return and report 189 

Further action delayed by fall of Clarendon ministry • • • 101 


Ths Acts of Tradb 

The principles of mercantilism as applied to the commercial relations 

of the British empire 103 

Policy affecting the tobacco industry after Virginia became a royal 

province 197 

Prohibition of tobacco culture within the realm continued . . 198 
Attitude of government toward Spanish tobacco .... 198 
Effort to improve colonial product and to limit the amount pro- 
duced 199 

The production of other staples in Virginia encouraged . . . 200 
Experiments with government monopolies of importation, 1624- 

1639. Uniformly opposed by colonists 201 

The acts of 1650 and 1651 affecting colonial trade 204 

Both were aimed at carrying trade of the Dutch .... 205 

The act of 1651 not vigorously enforced 205 

The acts of trade of Charles II 206 

The principle of the navigation act (1660) — encouragement of 

shipbuilding 207 

The .policy of the staple, for the benefit of merchants, applied in 

the acts of 1660 and 1663 208 

Relation of the conquest of New Netherland to this policy . .212 

Scotland excluded from colonial trade 212 

Institution of system of fleets and convoys during the Dutch wars 

of the Restoration 214 

Restriction of intercolonial trade in enumerated commodities by 

act of 1673 216 

Royal customs officials appointed for the colonies under the act of 

1673 216 

Administration under the acts of trade illustrated by the experiences 

of customs officials 217 

Quarrel between Giles Bland and Governor Berkeley in the royal 

province of Virginia 217 

Complaints of illegal trade in New England, 1675 .... 218 
The interpretation put by the merchants on the act of 1673 is dis- 
allowed by the English government 220 



Further complaints followed by circular letter and resolve to ad- 
minister to the governors the oaths required by acts of trade . 222 

Light thrown on illicit trade relations with New England by the 

Culpepper rebellion of 1677 in North Carolina .... 223 

Controversy between the proprietors of Maryland and royal 

customs officials, 1681-1686 226 

Assassination of Rousby, the royal collector .... 227 

The appointment of Edward Randolph as royal customs officer in 

Massachusetts, 1670 228 

The opposition with which he met during the first period of his 

residence there, 1670-1681 228 

Randolph's second period of residence (close of 1681 to 1683), with 

commission under the great seal and as deputy auditor . .231 

He meets with an additional obstacle in the form of a newly created 

naval office 232 

He is unable to enforce the acts in New Hampshire . . 284 

The acts of trade nullified in New England 235 

Creation of office of surveyor general of customs for the North 

American colonies, 1686 236 

Customs administration under Dudley and Andros • . . 237 

General summary of results 230 



Yiiginia as the ** old dominion *' 242 

Character of Governor Berkeley and of the official group which he led . 243 

Extension of settlement. Social classes 240 

The assembly in its relations with the official oligarchy . . 247 

Attempts of Charles II to change Virginia into a proprietary province . 248 

Grant of the Northern neck in 1640 to St. Albans and associates . 248 
Project revived in 1672, to grant all Virginia for thirty-one years to 

Arlington and Culpeper 251 

This defeated by opposition of colonists 261 

Plan for issue of a royal charter to Virginia 252 

Problem of coast defence in Virginia 254 

Futile efforts to fortify Point Comfort 254 

Virginia magistrates and the merchants disagree .... 254 

Province suffers from Dutch attacks in 1667 and 1672 . . . 255 

Charges that money had been wasted begin to provoke revolt . 258 

The Indian War of 1676 and 1676 258 

Outbreak of war. Capture of Susquehanna fort . . .261 

Ravaging of the Northern neck 262 

The Long Assembly declares war, but takes no effective measures . 262 

Inhabitants of upper counties gather for defence .... 263 

Appearance of Nathaniel Bacon 263 

He defeats Snsquehannas near Roanoke river • . • . 266 

Berkeley proclaims Bacon a rebel ....... 266 



Bacon's rebellion . . ^ . . 2d6 

Dissolution of the old, and election of a new, assembly . • . 266 

Bacon, a member, arrested, but released by governor . . 267 

Reform legislation of assembly of June, 1076 268 

Assembly makes Bacon general of forces against Indians . . 268 

Bacon coerces Berkeley into granting him a commission . . 270 
After close of session Berkeley again proclaims Bacon a rebel and 

tries to raise lower parts of province against him . . . 271 

Bacon organizes resistance at Middle Plantation .... 272 

Possibility of this becoming a revolt against the king . . 276 

Berkeley retires to Accomac and Bacon captures Jamestown . . 276 

Death of Bacon and collapse of revolt 277 

Reprisals of Berkeley 278 


Thb Rotal Commission of 1677. Viboikia at thb Closb 

OF Stuabt Rboimb 

Changes in plantation boards in England after 1667. Work of those 

boards 280 

Reception of news of Bacon's rebellion 283 

The royal commission of 1677 283 

Personnel and powers of the commission 288 

Condition of Virginia on its arrival, February, 1677 . . . 286 
Commissioners quarrel with Berkeley, but he soon returns to Eng- 
land 286 

Treaty of May, 1677, with the Indians 288 

Inquest by counties respecting causes of the uprising . . . 290 

Local statements of grievances 291 

Close of work of commission and its report 293 

Administration of Lord Culpeper, 1680-1683 296 

The instructions to the new governor 296 

His first sojourn in Virginia and return to England . . . 298 

The tobacco-cutting insurrection of 1682 300 

Second visit of Culpeper to Virginia and close of his administration 301 

Administration of Lord Howard of Effingham, 1684-1689 . . .302 

Division of legislature into two houses becomes complete . . 302 

Independent attitude of the burgesses 302 

Controversies with the governor during session of 1684 . . . 302 

Controversies during sessions of 1686 and 1686 .... 303 

The assembly of 1688 806 

Hearing on appeal of Ludwell in England ..... 307 

Lord Howard retires from active duties as governor • • . 308 


Ths Dissolution of thb Massachusbtts Compakt 


Contiiiaed petitions of Mason and Gorges after fall of Clarendon min- 
istry S09 

Complaints respecting violations of acts of trade . . . ^. . 310 

Edward Randolph sent as special agent to Massachnsetts ■ >.*7 ^ . .811 

His reception by governor and magistrates 812 

His return and report 316 

Stoughton and Bolkely sent as agents by Massachusetts . . .317 

Their instructions 317 

Randolph appears as active opponent of Massachusetts in England 318 

Questions in controversy referred to judges and privy council . 819 
Opinion of Chief Justices Rainsford and North on the charter and 

on claims of Mason and Gorges 310 

Opinion of Sir William Jones, attorney general .... 820 

Opinion of attorney and solicitor general on laws of Massachusetts 321 

The agents plead general lack of instructions 822 

Massachusetts buys out the Gorges heirs 323 

Plantation board reports in favor of qtto warranto, 1678 . . 324 

Return of the agents to Massachusetts 324 

Continued negotiations, ending in dissolution of company . . . 825 

Moderate party wins a victory in Massachusetts .... 326 

The colony conforms to the will of king in some things . . . 827 

But it meets commands to send other agents with prolonged delay 327 

Continued attacks on colony by Randolph ..... 328 

Agency of Dudley and Richards, 1682 328 

They were instructed not to consent to a change of system — religion 

and appeals 329 

Quo voarranto proceedings instituted, 1683 ..... 331 

Randolph unable to serve writ in time 332 

Process by scire facias substituted, and charter cancelled, 1684 . 333 

Points in indictment and decree 833 


BsonnriKOS of Rotal GovBBNMBirr in Nbw Hampshirb 

General conditions in New Hampshire towns 886 

Commission of 1679 to President Cutt and council .... 387 
The assembly of 1680. Government in accord with New England 

traditions 338 

Arrival of Mason and Richard Chamberlain 389 

Efforts of Chamberlain to secure recognition aa secretary . . 339 

The assembly of 1681 342 

Mason seriously obstructed in his efforts to assert his proprietary 

claims 342 

Representations on this subject to England and appointment of 

Edward Cranfield aa governor 345 



The administration of Edward Cnmfield, 1682-1086 .... 846 

Character and powers of Cianfleld 846 

His first impression of New Hampshire fayorable .... 847 
His change of attitude . . . . . . • .848 

He dissolves his first assembly 840 

Abortive uprising at Hampton. Edward GrOve .... 849 

Cranfield dissolves his second assembly, 1684 860 

Antocratio government with a packed council and judiciary . . 851 
Various aspects of this government, especially its efforto to enforce 

Mason^s claims 852 

Attack on the clergy hi person of Rev. Joshua Moody . . . 354 

Attempt at prerogative taxation 855 

Expulsion of Thurton, the tax collector 856 

Grievances of the colony presented in England by Weare • . . 856 

Hearing before lords of trade 867 

A qualified decision against Cranfield 867 

Cranfield returns home on permanent leave of absence • • • 367 

Nbw Yobk as ▲ RoTAL Provincb. Ths Admivistbation or 


The new commission and instructions to Dongan as royal governor . 868 

Dongan urges the restoration to New York of all the territory which 

was comprised in New Netherland 861 

Dongan describes revenue system of New York 863 

His quarrel with Collector Santen 864 

Relations of Dongan with the French and Indians .... 867 
His correspondence with Denonville over alleged French and Eng- 
lish encroachments . 368 

Their confiicting claims to the Iroquois country .... 369 

Charges respecting deserters and sale of liquor .... 872 
Expedition of Rooseboom from Albany, 1686-1686 . . .378 

French attack on the Senecas, 1687 874 

The treaty of neutrality at Whitehall, 1686 376 

Palmer sent as agent to England 876 

Dongan ordered to protect the Five Nations and exclude the French 876 


Thb Dominion of New England 

The nature and difficulty of the task which was undertaken by the 

Stuarts in reorganizing New England 878 

The unfitness of men like Randolph to administer New England 

aftairs 879 

The English government oonsiders the boundaries of the new 

province 381 




Qaestion of the appointment of Colonel Percy Eirke as goyemor . 882 

The administration of Joseph Dudley as president, with a council, 1686 383 

Powers given to the president and council 884 

Character and position of Dudley . . • 385 

Inauguration of the new government 386 

Conciliatory attitude of president and councilloia .... 386 

Inauguration of Anglican worship in Boston 390 

Randolph dissatisfied with the new government because it did not 

go far or fast enough 391 

Administration of Governor Andros, 1686-1689. The Dominion of 

New England 393 

His commission and instructions 398 

His appointment jneant the introduction of the New York system of 

government, without an elected assembly, into New England . 893 
Issue of writs of quo loarrarUo against Rhode Island and Con- 
necticut 395 

/Submission of Rhode Island 397 

\$?onnecticut holds out for a time, but finally submits . . . 397 

Beginning of government by Andros and his council . . . 400 

The establishment of courts 401 

Question of raising a revenue, and the light which it throws on 

Andros*s methods of legislation 402 

Resistance to the payment of taxes, and its suppression . . 402 

Drafting of a code of laws considered, but abandoned . . 405 
The inquiry into land titles and town grants, with a view to their 

renewal and to the levy of quit rents 406 

Agitation upon this important subject 408 

Town meetings pirohiblted, except for election of oiBceis . . 409 

Increase Mather departs for England 410 

Andros receives government of New York and the Jerseys . . 410 
Difficulty of consolidating so large and diverse a territory . .411 
Conflicts with French and Indiims begin on eastern frontier. An- 
dros goes thither 412 

Rumors are circulated that Andros intends to betray New England 

to the French and Indians 412 

Preparations for revolt 413 


Trb RavoLUTioN nr Nbw Englahd. Thb Provincial Chaktbk 

OF Massachusetts 

Arrival in New England of news of the English Revolution . . . 416 
Attitude of Massachusetts toward Andros and of Andros toward 

James II 416 

Uprising in Boston, week of April 18, 1689 417 

First day — seizure of leading officials and of the fort, and issue of 

manifesto by insurgent . , 418 



Second day — surrender of the royal frigate and of the castle . 421 

Third day — temporary government under a council of safety set 

up ; a convention called 421 

Sessions of convention, May 9 and 22. The old charter government 

revived 422 

Conduct of Massachusetts imitated by the other corporate colonies 423 

The agency of Increase Mather in England 424 

The services of Mather as connected with the history of the colonial 

agency in general 424 

Mather at the court of James n 426 

Mather prevents the government of William III continuing Andros 

in office 428 

But he and his colleagues failed to convince it that the Massachu- 
setts charter should be restored 428 

Rei>orts from New England and royal order that Andros and his 

associates be sent to England 490 

Unfavorable reports as to the insurgent government in Massachu- 
setts 480 

Renewed activity of Randolph 431 

Charges against Andros not sustained in England .... 436 

Failure to secure the restoration of the old charter • . . 436 

The issue of the provincial charter of Massachusetts .... 436 

Negotiations of winter and spring of 1690-1601. King decides in 

favor of an appointed governor 437 

Draft of charter by Attorney General Treby and changes therehi . 438 

Details of charter, with extent of province, settled . 438 

General characteristics of the new, as compared with the old, charter . 440 

Thb Rjbvolt of Lbislbr nr Nbw Yobk. An Assbmblt pbb- 


Fears of Catholic intrigue and French invasion in New York • . 444 

Dissatisfaction with the government of that province .... 447 
Personal feeling between Jacob Leisler and the Bayards and Van 

CortlandU 449 

Joint meetings of councillors, city officials, and officers of the train 

bands to provide for defence, April and May, 1689 . . . 460 

The mutiny of the train bands (May 30-31) and its results . . . 452 

Weakness of Nicholson and council shown 454 

Leisler and the other militia captains retain possession of the fort . 454 

They will surrender it only to authority from William of Orange . 456 

Nicholson returns to England to report 456 

The councillors and city officials pushed one side and the southern 

I>arts of the province fall under the control of the insurgents . 467 

New York under the Leisler regime, 1689^1691 457 

The convention of June 26 : A committee of safety chosen ; Leisler 

made commander of the fort ; aid sought from other colonies . 458 



Vigoroas measures of defence adopted 468 

The southern counties brought under military government . . 469 

Albany refuses to submit to Leisler 460 

Milbome, Leisler^s lieutenant, sent thither to reduce it . . . 461 

His negotiations ¥rith the convention 461 

Milbome returns to New York baffled 463 

Unfavorable news from England. Henry Sloughter appointed gov- 
ernor 464 

More stringent measures adopted by Leisler 466 

The destruction of Schenectady by French and Indians (February, 

1690) forces Albany to submit to his rule .... 467 

Assembly of April, 1690 468 

War measures of summer of 1690 469 

Arrival of Major Ingoldesby with troops, January, 1691 . . 470 

Ingoldesby refused admission to the fort 471 

Growing opposition to Leisler 472 

Encounter between the forces of Leisler and Ingoldesby, March 17 472 

Arrival of Governor Sloughter, March 19, 1691 .... 472 

Downfall of the Leisler party 472 

Leisler delays surrender of fort 472 

He and his chief supporters are arrested 473 

Trial and condemnation of Leisler and his councillors . . 473 
Sloughter yields to pressure and orders the execution of Leisler and 

Milbome 476 

The excuses and defence urged by the condemned .... 476 



The accuracy with which political movements in England were reflected 

in Maryland 477 

Friction between the lower house of assembly and the proprietor 

between 1676 and 1689 478 

The question of the number of representatives from each county . 478 

Controversy over the right of John Ck>ode to his seat . . . 480 

Question of the confirmation of the laws 481 

Sessions of 1682 and 1683 ; bills for regulating elections and for 

establishment of towns 483 

Session of 1684 ; summary of relations during the past decade . 484 
Disposition of the government on the return of Charles Calvert to 

England 486 

The uprising of the Associators hi 1689 487 

Strong attachment of the executive to the Stuarts shown by cele- 
bration of bulh of the heir of James 11, 1688 .... 487 
Jure divino theory of kingship and executive expounded by Presi- 
dent Joseph 487 

Controversy over the oath of fidelity 487 



Because of death of his messenger, Lord Baltimore fails to transmit 

news of the Revolation in England to the colony . . . 400 
Panic caused by rumors of a plot on the part of the Catholics and 

Indians to massacre the Protestants, March, 1680 . . 401 

These reports without foundation 408 

But Catholic rule in Maryland was doomed 404 

Uprising of Coode and the Associators, July, 1680 .... 406 
Occupation of St. Mary^s and Mattapony by the insurgents . . 405 
Many Protestants, especially those of Anne Arundel county, do 

not support the Associators 407 

Coode explains and defends his revolt ...*... 408 
The assembly of the Associators, August, 1680 ; temporary disposi- 
tion of tlie government 400 

Murder of John Payne, collector of customs, by relatives of the 

proprietor 600 

Action taken by the English government 601 

Baltimore commanded to send duplicate orders for proclaiming 

William and Mary 601 

Baltimore asks for hearing and recommends the appointment of 

Henry Coursey as governor 602 

English authorities further prejudiced against him by reports from 

Coode in reference to murder of Payne 602 

BaltimoVe permitted to send an agent to Maryland to collect his 

revenue 503 

Besolve of the crown to assume the government of Maryland indi- 
cated by the opinion of Chief Justice Holt, June, 1600 . . 503 
Hearing before the council, November 20, 1600 ; Baltimore, Coode, 

and Cheseldyne present 504 

Lionel Copley commissioned as royal governor, June, 1601 . 606 

Trial and punishment of the murderer of Payne, and establishment 

of royal government in Maryland . . . . 506 


The influence on the colonies of the great events of the century in 

England 607 

The seventeenth century was emphatically the period of chartered 

colonies 500 

The feudal aspects of this form of colony were perpetuated by the 

remoteness of America from England 610 

Lack of system in English administration tended to a similar end . 511 

Tendencies toward independence specially emphasized in New England 512 

Resulting institutional differences between the realm and the dominions 512 

Parliament refrains from legislation affecting the colonies, except 

in the sphere of commerce 513 

As a result, the colonies are left almost wholly under executive 

control , 514 

Instances of executive control . . . . . . . .515 



Bapid development of executive and jndicial control after the Restoration 616 
This largely the conseqaence of passage of acts of trade . 616 

Royal officials needed for this purpose in the colonies . 616 

Appointment of royal commissions, agents, customs officers resorted 

to in effort to supply this need 617 

The process culminated in a plan to substitute royal provinces for 

chartered colonies on a large scale 617 

This was accompanied by the abolition of assemblies and the union 

of colonies into governor generalships 617 

This process checked by the Revolution in England and consequent 

uprisings in the colonies 619 

But an improved balance of powers was secured through the devel- 
opment of a system of royal provinces with assemblies . . 620 



*■ » 




In the earlier volumes of this work the results which were CHAP, 
achieved mainly through the operation of private initiative ^ ^• 
in the development of British- American institutions have 
been traced. That motive, when followed out in action, 
resulted in the founding of a considerable number of colo- 
nies, each with its peculiar grouping of settlers and its char- 
acteristic organization ; all, as a rule, jealous of the privileges 
which, by charter or in other ways, they had secured. The 
part thus played in America by the chartered colonies corre- 
sponds to the regime of the privileged commercial companies 
in the development of English trade. Those were in part 
joint-stock and in part regulated companies. The companies 
which shared in American colonization were organized on 
the joint-stock plan. But the system under which trade 
was carried on with the chartered colonies in general might 
be roughly compared with that which was enforced by the 
English regelated companies. The important fact, however, 
in this connection is that, when the British government came 
to enforce such principles of control as it thought conduced 
to the general interest, it had to deal in both cases — that of 
the trading companies and that of the American colonies — 
with bodies possessing chartered powers. In this form 
mainly both English trade and English colonization were 
organized throughout the seventeenth century.^ 

In the history of this phase of early American institutions 
the most significant event was the removal of the governing 
body of the Massachusetts company into their colony.^ That 

1 Cunningham, Qrowth of English Industry and Commerce, Modem Times, 
214 et seq, 

^ For suggestive remarks on a somewhat analogous development on the 
part of the Merchant Adventurers of England, see Lingelbach, in Transactions 
of the Royal Hist. Soc., New Series, XVI. r>l et seq. 


• • • 


PART gave riscJ.toa type of colony which embodied most clearly 
the spirit, *o£ separation and independence toward which 
privai€^.* Initiative naturally led. Outside the group of 
cor^'Oi:ate colonies, whose settlement was either directly or 
iA<lH^*<^^l7 the result of the course which Massachusetts pur- 
:sTied, the same tendency existed, but it was prevented by 
social and institutional restraints from gaining such com- 
/plete sway. 

In the present volume attention will be called to the influ- 
ence which was directly exerted over the colonies, and over 
the proprietors who cooperated in founding them, by the 
British government ; that is, by the sovereign power under 
whose protection they all came into existence. Under this 
aspect of the subject the emphasis will be laid on British 
and general imperial interests, which operated as a restraint 
upon the tendencies in the colonies toward local indepen- 
dence. In the history of this phase of our colonial develop- 
ment the most significant event, corresponding in importance 
to the settlement of New England, was the attempted con- 
solidation of the colonies between 1680 and 1690. We shall 
be concerned with the events that led gradually to that con- 
summation and with some of the after results which perma- 
nently affected colonial life. A study of this nature, when 
properly balanced by a regard to the interests of the colonies 
as special jurisdictions, will form a proper introduction to 
the varied struggles and achievements of the eighteenth 

Historians have hitherto neglected this side of the subject, 
or have treated it as foreign and inimical to the colonies. It 
should, however, be remembered that the control of the Brit- 
ish government over the North American colonies was not 
imposed as the result of conquest, but was developed as an 
incident of their settlement. It was exercised over English 
subjects or over those who were ready to declare their inten- 
tion of becoming such. Even the Dutch and Swedes of 
New Netherland very soon took the oath of allegiance and 
became reconciled to the establishment of English authority 
among them. To the colonists such authority was certainly 
not foreign, though as a result of their removal to a distant 


continent, it became in a sense external. It was a part and CHAP, 
a condition of their existence. When properly exercised, 
this authority did not involve a meddlesome interference, 
but was as necessary and inevitable as were the tendencies 
toward isolation and independence in the colonies them- 
selves. Had the colonies not been subject to control in the 
lines along which sovereign power is accustomed to act, they 
would not have been dependencies, but something other than 

From the remoteness of the colonies and the strange envi- 
ronment which surrounded their settlers arose all that was 
peculiar and exceptional in their relations with the British 
government. And this in fact was sufficient to account for 
much. Under favorable circumstances it required four 
months to send a despatch from London to America and 
procure a return ; often the time required was much longer. 
This was a natural obstacle to the processes of government 
which could not be removed and which conditions during 
the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries did comparatively 
little to modify. The ordinary proprietor might remove 
into his province and administer its affairs on the spot. But 
this the king, whether as proprietor or sovereign, could not 
do. His residence was always in £urope. From England 
as a centre, royal or imperial control, whether it was exer- 
cised over chartered colonies or royal provinces, must be 
administered. In other words, the development of imperial 
control over the British- American colonies affords an illus- 
tration of the problems affecting government when it pro- 
ceeds from a remote centre. This is its main characteristic 
and suggests the chief distinction between it and the govern- 
ment of the realm, as well as the self government of the colo- 
nies. It was this condition which gave rise to the principle, 
that the laws of England in general should be enforced 
in the colonies so far as the circumstances of the latter 
would permit — a qualification which never obtained in the 

In modern times dependencies are usually situated in re- 
gions far distant from the countries which have established 
them, and the characteristic just referred to attaches to 


PABT every system of colonial administration. But in the case 
of many colonial systems, especially in the modern era, it is 
modified by the other problem, that of the government of 
alien and inferior races. Questions of this nature become 
vital and controlling when natives far exceed the European 
settlers in strength and numbers. Relations with an in- 
ferior race formed an element in North American coloniza- 
tion. But, so far especially as the home government was 
concerned, this feature of the problem occupied a secondary 
place. Until past the middle of the colonial period Indian 
relations were a matter with which the colonists concerned 
themselves much more than did the British government. Its 
attention was chiefly centred upon the government of Euro- 
peans — subjects of Great Britain — when removed to a 
distant continent and subjected to the influences arising from 
new surroundings, conditions which tended to attract them 
away from the mother country. In its last analysis the 
history of British colonial administration is essentially an 
exposition of the consequences in the development of institu- 
tions of this great natural condition. This explains the 
failure of policies and institutions to reach a complete and 
well-rounded development. It also explains much that was 
peculiarly slow or hesitating in administrative methods ; the 
delays, the indifference, the ignorance with which royal 
officials were often chargeable ; the autocratic and unsympa- 
thetic spirit which appeared in much that they said and did ; 
while, on the other hand, the particularism of the colonists 
sprang from the same source. In other words, it gave rise 
to the distinction between the realm and the dominions, a 
phrase which sums up in convenient form the legal and con- 
stitutional results of the process. 

By the realm was usually meant England, Wales, and Ber- 
wick on Tweed. It was the territory whose counties and 
boroughs were virtually or really represented in parliament, 
and over which the acts of parliament, whatever their pur- 
pose and content, carried full authority. The ordinance 
power of the English executive, when confined within its 
proper sphere, was equally authoritative in all parts of this 
territory, as were the decisions of the central courts. The 


English system of local government also existed throughout CHAP. 
this region. ^' 

When the colonies were founded, did they become a part 
of the realm ? Did they become a part of it at any period 
subsequent to their settlement ? Was the realm subject to 
continuous expansion, or did it remain the same, while the 
colonies lay outside of it? Were they the beginning of a 
new realm, which in the end might have added a third 
crown to the royal dignities of the Stuart family? In 
other words, when the colonies were founded or as they de- 
veloped, did the English constitution, 'spontaneously and in 
complete form, extend to them ? Did they become fully sub- 
ject to the authority of parliament, to that of the king and 
of the English courts ? Did all the laws which guarantied 
the rights of the crown, and those also which were intended 
to secure the liberty of the subject, extend to the colonies ? 
Were the colonists bound by the English system of private 
law, by its criminal law, by the law of procedure in the Eng- 
lish courts ? Did English law extend to the colonies propria 
vigore^ or were the colonists at liberty to select what they 
chose or what was adapted to their condition? Was the 
sovereignty of England over them immediate and complete, or 
was the relation between the two one of compact ? Finally, 
were the colonies a part of a great consolidated state, or of a 
federal empire? These were the issues, conceived in the 
broadest terms, to which the founding of the colonies gave 
rise, and their origin was due to the peculiar conditions which 
had their root in colonial isolation. 

As in the Saxon period of English history the organs of 
the central government were imperfect and a satisfactory 
connection between them and the localities had not been 
established, so in its relations with the colonies that well- 
balanced institutional development was never reached which 
had come into existence throughout the realm long before 
the close of the middle age. On the other hand, as we have 
seen, the coloiiies developed a system of local or self govern- 
ment which was far more complete than anything which 
existed within the realm. In the eye of the law, however, 
the corporate colonies ranked only with English municipal 


[? corporations, while the provinces were the equivalent of 
J English counties. But in reality they had become political 
structures of a higher rank than their English protot3rpes, 
and the colonists were fully aware of the fact. The English 
counties and boroughs had no assemblies which would 
rank in importance or authority with those which existed 
in all the colonies. The proof that this is true has been 
given in abundant detail in the previous volumes. 

On the other hand, the activity of the central government 
was much less fully exerted in the colonies than it was over 
the municipalities and counties of the realm. This again 
was due primarily to the remoteness of the colonies from 
England. It is true that in the seventeenth century the vol- 
ume of their business was not large, but it is quite likely 
that it would have equalled the business of any corre- 
sponding number of English counties and municipalities, 
if Middlesex and London were excepted. But the fact of 
importance is that, as compared with the English localities, 
only a small part of the business of the colonies ever came 
before the English government or was passed in review by 
its officials. The organs of the English government — its 
privy council, its treasury and admiralty, the courts of law, 
and even the parliament — existed for the colonies as truly as 
they did for the realm ; but the chief part of colonial business 
was transacted in America, and the volume of such busi- 
ness which passed through English offices was very small as 
compared with the total business of the realm. This was 
the consequence, in the domain of administration, of the 
remoteness of the colonies from England ; and that fact was 
accompanied with a corresponding degree of indifference 
toward colonial affairs on the part of British officials and the 
British public, and toward British affairs on the part of the 
colonists. Colonial affairs did not receive the direct and 
intensive treatment which was given to those of the realm. 

Just here appears the root of the distinction between the 
realm and the dominions in that growing political structure 
which was to be known as the British empire. It was more 
a distinction of fact than of law, of practice than of principle. 
But from long-continued practice or custom arise new prin- 


ciples, which in course of time find expression in law. Con- CHAP. 

duct begets a law which, though it be unwritten, may be ,^ ^ 

more powerful than any code or body of statutes. This was 
a fact in colonial development which officials were prone to 
forget, but which they were destined to learn to their cost 
before the end of the eighteenth century. 

British lawyers and officials at home and those who rep- 
resented the home government in the colonies held that, 
in law if not in fact, the authority of Great Britain within 
the dominions was complete. To their minds the relations 
between the British government and the individual colonists 
were immediate, and might be made so throughout the 
entire circle of civil and political relations. They held 
that the colonies were in principle as completely subject to 
parliament, as much exposed to the changes which are 
gradually wrought by the tightening or the loosening of the 
reins of power, as were the local jurisdictions within England 
itself. In this they were technically correct and were quite 
in harmony with the principles of English law. The logical 
consequence of their reasoning, however, was, to lower the 
rank of the colonies as political structures to the level of Eng- 
lish counties and municipalities. According to this view, if 
private rights were guarantied, the internal structure of the 
colonies might be modified by act of parliament, or, under 
certain circumstances, by executive and judicial action. 
Without the consent of the inhabitants, the colonies might 
be subdivided or combined in any way that suited imperial 
interests. The colonial assemblies even, and the systems of 
public law to which they gave rise, were held by many to 
exist by sufferance, and that in the interest of public policy — 
a very elastic expression — they might be seriously modified 
or even swept away. If this were true, as doubtless it was in 
strict point of law, the colonies were virtually a part of the 
realm, and at the same time, the continuance of what the 
colonists most valued in their institutions was not adequately 
guarantied ; the realm, in other words, was ever expanding 
so as to keep pace with the advance of the American frontier. 

But opposed to this view was a most important array of 
facts. These were the remoteness of the colonies from 


PART England, already referred to, and all the administrative and 
political consequences which resulted from that physical 
condition. These facts, when they worked themselves out 
historically, gave rise to a series of relations between the 
dominions and the sovereign power in Great Britain which 
was very much less inclusive and complete than that which 
existed between the central government and the counties, 
cities, and boroughs of the realm. Corresponding to this, 
there developed in the minds of the colonists a higher ap- 
preciation of the value of their local institutions, as expressions 
and guaranties of their liberties, than was felt by Englishmen 
for their county and municipal systems. The counterpart of 
this was the sensitiveness which the colonist always felt and 
expressed when from any quarter his local independence 
seemed in danger of infringement. By the colonist exec- 
utive action or legislation at Westminster which was 
likely to affect his local interests was viewed with much 
greater jealousy than similar action affecting an English 
county or borough could have aroused among its inhabitants. 
To him, because of the remote centre from which it proceeded, 
such action not only seemed autocratic, but it was so. Even 
the action of an imperial parliament in which the colonist 
was not in any real sense represented might be the most 
autocratic and oppressive of all. The tendency of all this 
was to keep the dominions very distinct from the realm, and 
to give rise, not to a consolidated empire, but to a structure, 
in spirit though not in law, much more analogous to a 
federation. This tendency did not completely triumph, but 
it furnishes the key-note to the history of the period, so far 
as it was determined by purely American conditions. 

The fact that these conditions were giving rise in the seven- 
teenth and eighteenth centuries to a novel political structure 
is to us becoming apparent; but to the men of those times the 
nature of that structure was by no means clear. The supreme 
legislature never satisfactorily defined the relation between 
the home government and the colonies, or settled the questions 
which were, or might be, at issue. It simply legislated for 
the colonies on certain subjects by mentioning the dominions 
in its statutes, and refrained from legislating on a much 


greater variety of other subjects. There was no judicial tri- CHAP, 
bunal in the British system, except possibly the house of Lords, 
which was competent to pronounce on such questions. The 
desirability or necessity of such action does not seem to have 
occurred to the minds of British statesmen, and in fact the 
system of the elastic constitution, to which alone they were 
accustomed, almost precluded the possibility of such a sug- 
gestion. Respecting the subject there was little positive law. 
The political consciousness of the colonists, on the other 
hand, was scarcely more awake, except that they were usually 
on the alert to prevent any encroachment on their accus- 
tomed liberties. Of constructive thought bearing on the 
nature of the British imperial constitution they were almost 
wholly barren. They were accustomed to fall back on the 
charters, but the provisions in them which appeared to 
guaranty to the recipients the rights and liberties of English- 
men referred to private rights and were extremely indefinite 
at that. Charters, moreover, might be modified or annulled, 
either by act of parliament or by combined judicial and ex- 
ecutive action. If done by act of parliament, it was likely 
to be undertaken in the interest of public policy and thus to 
be a sweeping measure. Experience was also to prove that 
similar wide-reaching results could be accomplished in the 
seventeenth century by the combined action of the courts and 
the king in council. Before the courts the colonists might 
be held responsible for acts which under transatlantic con- 
ditions they had assumed or found it necessary to perform, 
but which in the case of an English county or municipality 
would be clearly illegal or in excess of powers. When char- 
ters were once annulled, and the royal province was insti- 
tuted, with government under a royal commission and instruc- 
tions, then the colonists came, so to speak, to close quarters 
with the crown, and the struggle continued over a whole 
series of claims and privileges and rights. The colonists 
were then forced to rely wholly on the common birthright 
of Englishmen, the guaranties which were supposed to have 
been secured by Magna Carta, the common law, and the great 
constitutional statutes of the middle age and the period of 
the Stuarts. But these also were often indefinite in their 


FART terms, made no mention of the dominions, and were of doubt- 
ful applicability to the conditions which existed within them. 

Such failure as this to understand and define existing 
relations left the way open for controversies and misunder- 
standings between the colonists and the home government 
or its officials. These controversies form much of the staple 
of colonial history on its imperial side until, just before the 
revolt of 1776, they culminated in a general scrutiny of 
mutual rights and obligations which, so far as immediate 
imperial reform was concerned, had a purely negative result. 

The organs of the British government which were called 
into play in the administration of imperial control over the 
colonies were, as has already been suggested, the parliament, 
the courts of law, and the various executive offices and boards 
which surrounded the king and constituted what was tech- 
nically known as the crown. The function of the parliament 
was, in the foim of general statutes, to prescribe the law by 
which relations with the colonies were to be regulated. As 
an incident of legislation the houses might receive petitions 
and hear testimony. They might also call upon officials or 
executive boards to furnish them with information; they 
might seek this through their own committees. But the work 
of the parliament was regulative rather than administrative. 

At the beg^inning of colonization it was possible that par- 
liament might have legislated extensively for the colonies. 
Several statutes of Elizabeth's reign which provided for the 
establishment of the English Church and for the security of 
the crown against the papacy and the Jesuits mentioned the 
dominions. One or two statutes which were passed for a 
similar purpose at the time of the Gunpowder Plot, con- 
tained the same reference. It was frequently the desire of 
patentees that their charters should be confirmed by parlia- 
ment, though it was not often in early times that this favor 
was secured. On December 19, 1585, a bill from the Commons 
for the confirmation of the patent to Sir Walter Raleigh was 
read in the Lords ; but there is no reference to its passage and 
no such statute appears among the acts of that parliament.^ 

1 Lords Journals, IL 76a. The journal of the Commons is lacking for the 
years 1580 to 1603. 


It was no uncommon thing in the early days for the parliament CHAP, 
to call for patents and to inquire into the use that had been , ^ 

made of the privileges which they conveyed. This was done 
on a large scale by the Commons between 1621 and 1624 in 
connection with the attack on monopolies. In April, 1621, a 
bill was debated at length in the Commons and passed, for 
free fishing on the American coast from Newfoundland to Vir- 
ginia. This brought up the affairs both of the Virginia 
company and the New England Council and led to repeated 
liearings on the subject of the monopolistic features of the 
New England patent ; Sir Edwin Sandys was a most active 
defender of the policy of freedom of trade and fishing. The 
bill failed utterly of consideration by the Lords and so did 
not become law. Three years later Gorges' patent was again 
attacked in the Commons and found a place in its list of 
grievances. But on this occasion no act was passed which 
directly affected the colonies.^ 

In 1614 the Virginia company petitioned the Commons 
for an act for the better plantation of their colony, and a 
hearing was held, at which Richard Martyn appeared as 
counsel for the company, but with rather humiliating con- 
sequences to himself. No legislation came of this.' Ref- 
erence will elsewhere be made to the effort to bring the 
affairs of the Virginia company before the Commons just 
before the recall of its charter in 1624. Occasionally after 
Virginia became a royal province its planters or merchants 
who traded thither petitioned the Commons, but no action 
of importance followed.' A variety of subjects, to which 
parliament at times devoted much attention, led far afield 
and might naturally have involved much legislation affect- 
ing the colonies. These were trade, patents, the fisheries, 
the navy, the customs revenue, war, and defence. During 

1 CommoDS Joomals, L 218, 223,' 678, 691, 640, 668, 688 ; Lords Journals, 
III. 840, 461, 469, 487, 626, 823, 827. The famous act of 1624 against mo- 
nopolies was the result of these debates, but its effects were limited to trade 
and production within the realm. The bill for liberty of fishing repeat- 
edly passed the Ck)mmon8 and was as often introduced into the Lords, but 
failed to make progress there. A bill of this kind appeared as late as 1628. 

* Commons Journals, I. 481, 487 ; Brown, First Republic, 216, 216. 

* Commons Journals, IL 64, 64, 818. 


PART the Interregnum, as will be seen, parliament became the 
^^' ^ centre of the political organism, and all activity, whether 
legislative or executive, proceeded from it. But notwith- 
standing the possibilities which were implied in all this, 
parliament actually confined her colonial legislation, both 
before and after the English Revolution, to the subject of 
trade, passing only an occasional act on other subjects, as 
on defence during the last intercolonial war. 

It is, however, true that both English statute and com- 
mon law were in a general sense operative in all the colonies. 
The charters forbade the passage of laws which were repug- 
nant to those of England. The colonists always claimed 
the benefit of the great English statutes which made for 
liberty. In many cases they incorporated the substance of 
them in their own legislation. As Englishmen they were 
ever under the influence of the legal and administrative 
traditions of England. Their institutions and laws were 
based on those of England; its laws were appropriated, both 
consciously and unconsciously, as the process of develop- 
ment continued. But this, especially during the sevent<eenth 
century, was the work of the colonists themselves, and was 
not effected through pressure from the home government. 
In the process of natural selection which went on, the colo- 
nists took what suited their purposes and modified it as the 
conditions under which they lived seemed to require.^ 

As to the judge-made law of England, except so far as it 
had become a part of the common law, it was largely without 
influence on the colonies in the seventeenth century. In fact, 
when the colonies were founded, the judges had not estab- 
lished their independence of the executive. In the colonial 
courts of the time the best judges were imperfectly ac- 
quainted with English precedents. In many cases they were 
totally ignorant respecting them. The dearth of trained 
lawyers and the lack of a system of appeals made anything 
more than a rough approximation to English practice an 

^ The subject of the introduction of English law into the colonies, which is 
also the history of the origin of American law, is one which demands investi- 
gation. Until the work shall be done by some competent hand, one is forced 
to deal in generalities. 


impossibility. The system of appeals from colonial courts CHAP, 
was not yet developed, though the admiralty occasionally 
heard cases which involved vessels engaged in colonial trade. 

The executive therefore was the only department of the 
English government which from the first and throughout the 
period was directly concerned with the colonies. This arose 
from the fact that the title to land in the plantations, origi- 
nating in discovery made under royal license, vested in the 
crown. The crown issued all charters under which settle- 
ments were made. This gave rise to a feudal or pseudo-feudal 
relation between the king and the grantees. In the case of 
the provinces this was reproduced by the grants which the 
proprietors made to the settlers. From this relation, broad- 
ened by the fact of sovereignty, proceeded such rights of 
government as the king possessed over the colonies. These 
were exercised continuously, and constituted the system of 
royal control. 

The organs of government through which executive control 
over the colonies was exercised were, besides the sovereign 
himself, the secretaries of state, the privy council, the 
lord high treasurer or commissioners of the treasury, the 
lord high admiral or commissioners of the admiralty, the law 
ofiicers of the crown and — to be determined by events — 
either the archbishop of Canterbury or the bishop of London. 
Committees or commissions subordinate to the privy coun- 
cil, like the commissioners of trade and plantations, and 
subordinate to the treasury board, like the commissioners 
of the customs, were subsequently added; but they made 
no fundamental change. They were mainly Iboards of inquiry 
and report, charged with special duties in detail, and when 
they took positive action it was by virtue of some permanent 
or special order from the king, privy council, or treasury 
board. A variety of special commissions were also appro- 
priated from time to time, each for a particular purpose. 
These are especially prominent in the history of Virginia. 
Behind all these bodies stood parliament, inactive as yet, 
but with unlimited possibilities attaching to it as a regula- 
tive power. 

During the period prior to 1642 the privy council, or 


PART more properly the king in council, was the body which 
^' was chiefly concerned in the administration, both of the 
affairs of the realm and the dominions. In relation to the 
dependencies the functions of the council were threefold : 
1. it was the chief among the central administrative boards 
which were concerned with colonial affairs ; 2. it acted as a 
high court of appeal in the trial of cases which were brought 
from the courts of the colonies ; 8. by virtue of a power 
which it assumed after the royal provinces began to develop, 
it gave or withheld its assent to acts of the legislatures in 
nearly all the colonies. It thus became a part of their 
legislative machinery. 

But in the early period, of which we are now speaking, the 
executive function was almost the only one relating to the 
colonies which the privy council discharged. In perform- 
ing these duties it was concerned with all the dealings be- 
tween the king and the proprietors of colonies, whether 
corporations or mdividuals, who were resident in England. 
From them it received petitions, letters, and reports. In 
response to all these it originated action in the form of letters, 
warrants, and orders. Letters from the privy council were 
or might be written concerning all subjects which came before 
it. The warrants which it issued were orders to do particular 
things; as, for example, to draw a patent. They belonged 
chiefly to the sphere of pure administrative routine. 

In the process of investigation hearings were frequently 
held before the whole council or before a committee. Abun- 
dant examples of these forms of action will appear as we pro- 
ceed, and hundreds more may be culled from the colonial 
papers. Captain Bargrave petitions, in April, 1622, against 
the management of Virginia affairs by Sir Thomas Smith. 
In September, 1630, Aldersey, Cradock, and others of the 
Massachusetts company petitioned for license for one year 
to transport provisions to Massachusetts, and that the proc- 
lamation of 1622 against disorderly trade be renewed. Both 
requests were granted. In January, 1634, the attorney gen- 
eral writes that the king may give laws to Newfoundland 
and submits some which might be temporarily enforced. Sir 
Ferdinando Gorges, probably in June, 1638, in a letter to the 


council requests that the existing restrictions on emigration CHAP, 
to the colonies may be so interpreted as to exclude only ^' 
schismatics. In October, 1618, a justice of the peace of Som- 
ersetshire reports that Owen Evans was causing much fear by 
impressing maidens, under the pretended authority of a com- 
mission, to go to Virgfinia. The Discourse of the Old Company^ 
a memorial of great importance, explaining and defending 
the policy of the Sandys-Southampton party in the Virginia 
company, was addressed to the privy council. In February, 
1637, the master, wardens, and assistants of Trinity House 
report on Newfoundland affairs. In May, 1639, the officers 
of the customs at Yarmouth certify that, since their last, 
no passengers or goods had been shipped from that port to 
Massachusetts bay. 

Orders were the most common form used by the council 
for the expression of its will, and they carried with them the 
highest binding force. Within the sphere of the executive 
they hold a position of importance corresponding to that of 
the statute within the province of the legislature. They 
were, or might be, issued concerning all matters which came 
within the cognizance of the council. During the controversy 
between the crown and the Virginia company, and while the 
government of Virginia was being taken into the hands of 
the king, orders were issued concerning a variety of subjects 
connected with Virginia affairs. In 1630 orders were issued 
relative to a dispute in which Captain Kirke and his associ- 
ates, merchant adventurers to Canada, and M. de Caen were 
involved over certain beaver skins to which both laid claim. 
In 1631 an order was issued referring a controversy, between 
the same merchant adventurers and certain parties who were 
charged with trading to Canada as interlopers, to Sergeant 
Berkeley and two others for further investigation. In De- 
cember, 1632, a committee was ordered to be appointed to 
inquire and report how patents for plantations in New Eng- 
land had been granted, concerning the truth of petitions 
from planters there, and about a relation in writing which 
Sir Christopher Gardiner had submitted. In 1685 a contro- 
versy between Edward Kingswell and Samuel Vassall over 

the transportation of colonists who were intended for Caro- 
voL. in — o 


PART lina, occasioned the issue of orders. Orders were issued in 
^^* , 1640 to the lord treasurer and the officers of the customs for 
the clearing of several vessels which were bound for New 
England with passengers and provisions.^ 

In the history which is to follow reference will need to be 
made with increasing frequency to the doings of the privy 
council. It was the board to which all general colonial busi- 
ness came and at which it centred. Questions of right and 
policy were there discussed and settled. The dealings of the 
council, however, were chiefly with the royal provinces. With 
those its relations were manifold and continuous. The king 
in council was the highest depositary of executive power for 
provinces of that class. During the period of which we are 
speaking the colonial business transacted by the privy council 
related chiefly to Virginia. Only, occasionally do references 
appear to the chartered colonies and their concerns. They 
moved within their own distinct circles, and it required some 
event of exceptional importance, which affected the king's in- 
terest, to bring them before the privy council. This reveals 
with sufficient clearness the character of the system of char- 
tered colonies, and the significance, from the standpoint of im- 
perial policy, of the transition to a system of royal provinces. 

Of the other boards and officials whose share in colonial 
administration can at a later time be pretty clearly differen- 
tiated, prior to the Restoration only occasional traces appear. 
The secretaries of state had not then become clearly sepa- 
rated from the council. They were still subordinate to 
it and in their dealings with the colonies their work 
appears as a part of its own. The lord treasurer bore a 
prominent part in the transactions with the Virginia and 
Somers islands companies affecting the importation of to- 
bacco ; but for a long time after the dissolution of the first- 
named company, the treasury concerned itself little with 
colonial affairs, except so far as they were affected by the 
collection in England of the duties on colonial products. 

It thus appears that during the early decades the king 

^ The acts above referred to, and many more in addition, appear in Colonial 
Papers, 1574-1660. The Calendars of State Papers, Colonial, will be cited in 
this form. 


alone, or the king in council, did nearly all of the colonial CHAP. 

business. It was small in amount, and was not thought to ^^ ^ 

demand the degree of expert attention which was afterward 
devoted to it. Of the executive functions which were per- 
formed at the beginning the granting of a royal charter was 
among the most important. It also best illustrates the co- 
operation of the different officers connected with the Eng- 
lish executive in a matter of business which affected the 

When a petition was presented by private adventurers, or 
a would-be proprietor, for a royal patent, the proposal was 
referred to the attorney general and solicitor general for an 
opinion on the legal aspects of the application. At any time 
before the creation of a special committee, council, or board 
of trade, the bearings of the proposition on the political and 
commercial interests of England must needs have been con- 
sidered by the council, either in full session or with the aid 
of a special committee. When a decision had been reached 
that the grant would probably be both legal and expedient, 
the law officers were ordered, by a warrant under the sign 
manual, to draft the patent. When this was done, it was 
reported back to the council under the name of the king's 
bill, with a docket attached which was intended for the 
king's own eye, and which therefore briefly summarized the 
main provisions or object of the grant. If the terms of 
the grant were approved, a transcript of it under the king's 
privy signet was sent to the office of the lord privy seal. 
There the formal parts of the charter were added, and the 
privy seal was attached. Thence it was sent to the office of 
the lord chancellor, where, if no further objection appeared, 
the great seal was affixed. This completed the grant and 
made the charter a letter patent.^ The object of the process 
thus outlined was to protect the rights and interests of the 
king, to prevent either himself or his officials from being 
deceived and from granting franchises which they had no 

^ Palgrave, In Second Report of Depaty Keeper of the. Public Records; 
Charles Deane, Forms used in Issuing Letters Patent, in Proceedings of 
Mass. Hist. Soc. 1869-1S70, IQS; Anson, Law and Custom of the Consti- 
tution, IL 45. 


PART right to grant, or those the grant of which would be in- 
, ' J expedient. 

It is true that, throughout the seventeenth and eighteenth 
centuries, a very large part of colonial business was done by 
the men who at the same time were administering the 
affairs of the realm. It was done too in the offices where 
the business of the realm was transacted, and occupied its 
modest place in the general stream of affairs. Especially 
was this true when the privy council took immediate charge 
of colonial administration. But on two or three occasions 
a tendency appears to assign colonial business to a council 
specially erected for the purpose, to a body which was given 
large powers of initiative and one upon which no express 
obligation of reporting to the king in council was imposed. 
It would be unsafe to attribute too great independence to 
any of these bodies, but one interesting example is the 
king's council for Virginia, for which provision was made in 
the charter of 1606. It was given not only very complete 
jurisdiction over the two colonies which were founded on the 
American coast between the thirty-fourth and forty-fifth 
degrees of north latitude, but over the entire vast tract as 
well and over any and all colonies which should be founded 
within it.^ It was not required to report to the privy 
council. Not any of its members were privy councillors. 
This certainly suggests the possibility that colonial affairs 
might have been intrusted to a body distinct from the privy 
council, and that they might have been organized quite by 

But too great a weight should not be attributed to the 
omission from a charter or commission of express reference 
to an obligation to report before the privy council. The 
king might take business of that kind into his hand at any 
time, and such action meant that it would come before the 
council. Moreover, all the appointees on the king's council 
for Virginia were members either of the London or Plymouth 
companies. If the creation of something resembling a council 
of the Indies had been contemplated, it is hardly supposable 
that its personnel would have been selected from so narrow a 

^ Brown, Genesis, L 66, 66. 


circle. It has very much the appearance of a device the pur- CHAP, 
pose of which was to guard the interests of the king within 
those companies. That in fact was all the council ever ac- 
complished, for when, in 1609, the London company was 
reorganized and the Plymouth patentees became inactive, 
the council disappeared. In general, whatever boards of com- 
missioners, or committees, or subordinate councils existed, 
it is certain that the relations between colonial patentees and 
the king in council were direct. ^ 

Under any system where the administration of government 
from a remote centre becomes necessary, agents must some- 
times be despatched for the purpose of procuring or giving 
information or contributing to the settlement of disputes. 
Results can often be more satisfactorily attained in this way 
than by means of ordinary correspondence. In the British 
system this gave rise to the royal commission and the colonial 
agency, which were the complements the one of the other. 
Commissions were from time to time sent to the colonies by 
the crown, while the term " agency " was applied to individ- 
uals who were sent for similar purposes to England by the de- 
pendencies. Commissions were resorted to at intervals and 
in times of crisis. In a special sense such appointees repre- 
sented the authority of the king. In addition to procuring 
information they were often given limited executive or 
judicial powers, to be used in the settlement of disputes 
within a colony, between neighboring colonies, or between a 
colony or colonies and the home government. In early times 
colonial agents also were sent occasionally and on special 
errands. But, as relations became developed and established, 
they were more frequently employed. In the case of royal 
provinces they were quite regularly appointed from the first, 
and as the royal provinces developed into a system, the 
agencies became a regular feature of colonial administration. 

The effect of the creation of special jurisdictions, like the 
chartered colonies, was to interpose grantees, with their groups 
of officials, between the crown and those of its subjects who 
had gone to live in the colonies. That was a most significant 
result of the settlement of the colonies and of their remoteness 
from England. Englishmen who, while they remained in the 


PART realm, were immediately subject to the control of the execu- 
^^' tive in all its branches and to all acts of parliament, by re- 
moval across sea escaped from those relations and instead 
became subject to colonial proprietors, with their legislatures 
and officials. Behind and above all these were the sovereign 
rights of crown and parliament, but the relation in which the 
colonist now stood to these bodies was no longer immediate, 
but mediate. Between the two the proprietors and their 
officials, or the general court with the elected officials of the 
corporate colonies, had been interposed. This, in the realm 
of administrative organization, was the result which followed 
from the settlement of the colonies on a remote continent 
under the impulse of private initiative. An essentially 
feudal relation had been created, with a large measure of 
practical immunity. 

But from the first the need of conserving imperial rights 
was felt ; and, as the dominions grew and the rivalry of other 
competing motives developed, the strength of this feeling 
increased. Considerations of national wealth and power, as 
emphasized by the mercantilist theories of the time, enforced 
the need. It became apparent first and chiefly in the spheres 
of war and international trade. Out of these general con- 
ditions arose the imperialist views of the later seventeenth 
century, the chief exponents of which were merchants, law- 
yers, and crown officials. They insisted upon guarding the 
interests of England in her colonies and upon subjecting 
them as a whole to a consistent and far-reaching policy. 
But under the system of chartered colonies the administra- 
tive machinery for accomplishing this was lacking. Without 
a corps of royal officials resident in the colonies it would be 
useless to attempt to overcome their particularism, or to es- 
tablish systematic control over them. The elected officials 
of the corporate colonies and the appointees of the proprietors 
were almost equally useless for such a purpose. Not a single 
royal appointee was re^dent in any of the chartered colonies. 
In the face of such a situation and for the attainment of 
genuine imperial objects the English government was as 
helpless as would be the human body without arms or hands. 
These it must secure by the addition of royal officials — 


partly in the place of those of the colonies — and by estab- CHAP, 
lishing as far as possible an immediate relation between the ^^^ 
crown and the colonists. 

This change was effected by the substitution of a system 
of royal provinces for the chartered colonies which had 
come into existence at the beginning. Its effect, when 
viewed from the administrative standpoint, was to create in 
each province a corps of royal officials, who received their 
appointment and instructions, not from any proprietor or body 
of colonists, but directly from the crown. These, when the 
system was fully developed, were the governor, the coun- 
cillors, the secretary, the surveyor general, the attorney gen- 
eral, the chief justice, customs officials, and, if regular troops 
were stationed in the province, officers of the army and 
navy. By means of these officials land was granted, justice 
administered, the militia organized and commanded, rev- 
enue collected and its expenditure to an extent controlled. 
In the royal provinces also the tendency was for the English 
Church either to be established or to be favored by law. 

These conditions, even though they were not fully realized, 
gave the king greater strength in the royal province than 
was possible under the chartered colony. For purposes of 
imperial administration it was better adapted than any other 
form of colonial government. It had all the advantages of the 
proprietorship, with the additional characteristic that the 
king in this case was proprietor as weU as sovereign. 

The transition was effected in part by causes operative 
within the colonies themselves, and in part by pressure 
from the home government. The nature of the former has 
been sufficiently indicated in the earlier volumes of this 
work. The changes there referred to appeared chiefly in 
the proprietary provinces, and were the result of a struggle 
between the colonial executives and the lower houses of the 
legislatures, the houses which were in a special sense repre- 
sentative of the people. Against not a few phases of pro- 
prietary government, when at its best, the people were always 
protesting. In the corporate colonies also a change of sen- 
timent came about among classes and localities which in- 
clined them more favorably to the advances of the home 


PART government. Tendencies of this kind facilitated the tran- 
sition to the system of royal provinces. But it is not with 
this phase of the transition that we are now concerned. 
Instead of further considering the internal causes which 
operated to bring in the system of royal provinces, the at- 
tention of the reader will be directed to those which pro- 
ceeded from the home government. We have to do in this 
division of the subject with the beginnings of imperial 
control over the North American colonies, and its develop- 
ment and maintenance was the essential function of the 
sovereign power in the founding of the British empire. 



To the royal officials who were seeking to establish or CHAP. 
maintain control over colonial affairs, the place of resi- ^ 
dence of those who received proprietary grants was a matter 
of great moment. Both judicial and administrative control 
could be much more easily exercised over a corporation or 
proprietors resident within the realm than it could over those 
resident on a distant continent. The form under which 
land, and especially trade, was managed was also of some 
importance. The government first came into prominent 
and significant relations with the Virginia company and the 
New England Council. Both were corporations located within 
the realm, but at the same time proprietors of provinces. 
Because located within the realm they were subject to the 
same regulation and interference, both from king and par- 
liament, as that to which corporations generally were liable. 
The experience of the Virginia company, together with the 
little we at present know concerning other companies at 
that time, would lead to the inference that the tinkering 
came more from the executive than from the legislature. 
The present chapter will be devoted to a discussion of the 
relations between the crown and the Virginia company, as 
an illustration of British colonial policy in its earliest phase* 
It will be observed that the transactions occurred chiefly 
between the king and the company, and not between the 
king and the colonists. The latter were affected indirectly 
and through the fate of the company. So long as the work 
of colonization was in the hands of corporations resident in 
England, this was necessarily the form which the exercise 
of royal control assumed. 

It is true that during the early years of the Virginia enter- 
prise, while the colony existed under the charter of 1606, as 
well as later, the activity of the king and his ministers was 



PART enlisted to prevent Spain from ascertaining the location of the 
^ ^' J new colony, and from attacking or destroying it.^ This was 
effected through diplomatic delays and avoidance, so far as 
possible, both of discussion of the enterprise and of the as- 
sumption of direct responsibility for it, while at the same 
time friendly relations were maintained with Spain. All the 
time, however, with the knowledge and often with the direct 
assistance of the government, the patentees were striving to 
so establish their colony and strengthen their hold on Vir- 
ginia that Spain could not dislodge them. It was a quiet 
but persistent struggle to nullify, so far as eastern North 
America was concerned, the provisions of the papal bull. 
The protection which in indirect ways the government af- 
forded, contributed toward the successful result. While the 
government was serving the interests of the colony in the 
diplomatic sphere, its directive influence was doubtless ex- 
erted upon the company itself ; but, owing to the dearth of 
records, the history of its activity during the administration 
of Sir Thomas Smith cannot be traced. By the time the 
Sandys-Southampton party came into control, Virginia and 
the Somers islands had become large producers of tobacco. 
That made them important, both from the commercial and 
the fiscal points of view. The fact that the majority of the 
officials and active shareholders of these companies were not 
in sympathy with the court, introduced a political element 
into the situation. These conditions, when taken together, 
occasioned the persistent and hostile interference of the king 
with the affairs of the company, which finally resulted in its 

The attitude of the king toward the company under its 
new management was first shown in connection with the 
election of treasurer in 1620. When Sandys's term of office 
had closed and he had submitted his report on the work of 
the year, a message ^ was received from the king signifying 

1 The proofs ofthis are in Brown, Genesis of the United States, I. 

> Becords of the Virginia Company, I. 348, 357-858. The references 
throughout this chapter are to the new edition of the Court Book of the 
Company, which has recently been published by the Library of Congress, 
under the editorship of Miss Susan M. Kingsbury 


his pleasure that the company should choose as its treasurer CHAP, 
one of four men named by himself, Sir Thomas Smith, Sir ^ 
Thomas Roe, Alderman Robert Johnson, Maurice Abbot. 
This was an application to the company of the e<mgi cTelire^ 
the instrument by which the Tudors had humbled the 
cathedral chapters and annulled their rights of election, 
and apparently its object was to prevent the reelection of 
Sandys, who was leader of the country party in the house 
of Commons, or the choice of any offensiye member of the 
opposition. The company was brought to a strait by this 
message. After much debate they voted to adjourn the 
election till the next quarter court, and appointed a com- 
mittee, headed by the Earl of Southampton, to petition the 
king that he would not deprive the company of the right of 
free election to which by charter it was entitled. 

At the next quarter court Southampton reported that the 
king had said he did not intend to limit their choice to the 
names he had mentioned, but simply to recommend them as 
desirable candidates. Also he said it was necessary to have 
as treasurer one who could freely approach the royal person. 
The company thereupon^ chose the Earl of Southampton 
treasurer, with John Ferrar as deputy. This, while intended 
to meet some of the objections of the king, also insured the 
continuance of the same methods of administration as those 
which Sandys had followed; and, indeed, his influence when 
out of office continued to be almost as great as it had been 
when he held the treasurership. 

In 1622 the king once more presented candidates for treas- 
urer, and for deputy as well.^ But they were again passed 
over, Southampton and Ferrar being reelected. A committee 
headed by Lord William Cavendish was then sent to explain 
this conduct to the king. His majesty seemed not well 
satisfied that, out of the ten candidates whom he had named, 
not one had been chosen. He expressed the opinion that 
merchants were fittest for the government of the company, 
and instanced Sir Thomas Smith as one by whom the produc- 
tion of staple commodities had been begun, while now the 
colony exported only cotton. Lord Cavendish replied, though 

^Records of the Va. Co. L 384. > Ibid. II. 28, 34-36. 


PART with the same sort of exaggeration which the king had showiif 
^^' J that the introduction of tobacco and neglect of staples had 
been the work of the Smith and Johnson administration. 
Since that time the company had labored to erect iron mills, 
plant vineyards, produce silk and a variety of other com- 
modities. They hoped to give his majesty proof of this ere 
long. Since the time of Smith the colony had grown to al- 
most as many thousands, as it then had hundreds, of people. 
With an expenditure of £10,000 more had been accomplished 
than by Smith with £80,000. In the same strain Sandys 
wrote to the Duke of Buckingham and asked for the hdp 
of the favorite, in promoting the cause of the company at 
court. Thus stood relations when tobacco became an im- 
portant subject of negotiation with the king. 

In those early days of its history the feeling that tobacco 
was a noxious, or at least a useless, product was stronger and 
more widespread in England than it is at present. The 
attitude of James I toward the weed is well known from the 
^^ counter-blast " which he directed against it. The attitude 
of Charles I was not very different. English statesmen of 
the time always deprecated the fact that the Virginians 
devoted so much of their labor to the raising of tobacco, and 
spoke with regret or protest against a plantation being 
founded so largely on smoke. In the many royal proclama- 
tions which were issued concerning the tobacco culture the 
same opinions were expressed. As late as 1637 the privy 
council wrote that the king expected some better fruit than 
tobacco to be returned from Virginia. During a debate in 
the house of Commons in 1621 on the subject of tobacco 
there was a general and spontaneous outburst of feeling 
against the weed. Member after member inveighed against 
it as ^^ vile,'' and an object of their abhorrence, and insisted 
that it should be entirely excluded from the realm. Resort, 
they declared, should be had to something else for the sup- 
port of colonists in Virginia. But tobacco was already a 
source of revenue which could not easily be spared. It was 
also raised in England and Ireland and used for medicinal 
purposes. Merchants were interested in its transportation 
and sale and colonists in its production. An increasing 


proportion of the people, at home and abroad, were becoming CHAP, 
its consumers. The Spanish product of superior quality 
commanded a high price in the market. Interests had 
gathered about the product which insured the continuance of 
its use on a large scale, and for a long time to come it received 
a large share of that attention which the English govern- 
ment was able to give to the colonies in general. It appears 
that Spanish tobacco, which was of superior quality, was the 
first to recommend itself to the English market. Later 
came the product from the English colonies — Virginia and 
the Somers islands — followed by that from Barbadoes and 
the Leeward islands, from Maryland and North Carolina. 
By 1619 both the Virginia and Somers islands companies 
had begun to import considerable quantities of tobacco, of 
poor or medium quality, into England. At the same time 
it was being raised as a garden product or even on a some- 
what larger scale within the realm. Here was a new in- 
dustry, the fiscal possibilities of which were attractive ; but 
its moral and other social tendencies were viewed with 
suspicion. With it were involved interests in the colonies 
and in the realm, while it affected foreign relations as well. 
Conditions such as these called imperatively for regulation, 
especially with a government which was controlled by the 
traditions of the early seventeenth century. In 1619 two 
royal proclamations were issued providing that no tobacco 
should be sold in England until the custom and impost on it 
was paid and until it was officially inspected and sealed.^ 
The duty at the time on tobacco of the quality which came 
from Virginia was 6d, per pound. As Virginia tobacco was 
then selling for about 58. per pound, the duty was the 
equivalent of an ad valorem rate of about ten per cent. The 
sealing of the tobacco, which was referred to in the proclama- 
tion, implied a guaranty of its quality. This was arrived at 
by the process of separating the good from the poor quality, 
which was then known as ^^ garbling." It occasioned an ad- 
ditional impost which, at the time of which we are speaking, 
whether just or not, was fixed at 6(2. per pound. The total 

1 Bymer, Foedera, XVIL 191. Beferences to proclamationB of May 26 
and Kovember 10, 1610. 



PABT impost, then, on VirginU tobacco was 12(2. per pound. B] 
t ' . there was a clause in the charter of the Virginia compai 
(1609) which exempted them from the payment of any dw 
in excess of five per cent on commodities which they should ii 
port into the realm or the colonies.^ It also provided that < 
the payment of this duty they might freely reexport the 
products from England to foreign markets. These provision 
of course, would sot avail against an act of parliament, ai 
by the government at the time were evidently regarded i 
inferior in validity to orders in council and such other ai 
ministrative acts as, under the Tudors and early Stuart 
gave rise to the book of rates or customs tariff. 

In the summer of 1619 the Vii^nia company had its fin 
encounter with the government on the subject of tobacci 
Abraham Jacob was then a farmer of the customs. H 
refused to permit the delivery of a cargo which had recentl 
come from Virginia unless the impost, above referred to, i 
12d. per pound was paid. The officers of the company urge 
as a plea against this demand the provision of their charte 
and petitioned the treasury board.' This resulted in tt 
despatch of a letter from the privy council to Jacob instruc 
ing him to deliver the goods, the adventurers even offerin 
to leave one-half the cargo with him if they might offer tt 
rest for sale and thus save it from perishing. But Jacol 
who was later called by Sandys a " tough adversary," n 
fused to do this, unless the company brought him a fu 
discharge from the council, which it could not then procun 
Hence the goods were detained for more than four month 
and at an estimated damage to the company of X2500. Th 
Somers islands company bad been treated in the same waj 
though the period during which it was exempted by chart€ 
from imposts had not elapsed. Because of these acts 
petition was sent by the Virginia company directly to th 
privy council. This resulted in a hearing, at which th 
attorney general declared that the company was free by i1 

1 SlmUar cUubbs appear in the early cbarteiB of other coloniztog con 
poDieB, inclading tbatof the Somers ialandH compiuij. The five percent rai 
which was named was an ancient customs dntj. 

» Recs. of Va. Co. I. 246, 258, 291. 


patent from the imposition. The council now ordered CHAP. 
Jacob to deliver the tobacco, the company paying only the ^' 
duty to which it was legally subject. 

Shortly after came a suggestion from the king that the 
company should farm the impost on tobacco, but continue to 
pay the 12(2. duty, that is to say, 3(2. as provided by the 
charter, and 9(2. additional for five years in consideration of 
the issue of a royal order that no more tobacco should be 
raised in the realm .^ On December 30 a proclamation pro- 
hibiting the industry at home was issued. 

Thus was initiated a course of action which was to be 
maintained by the British government during most or all of 
the century. Though in its early stages this policy was 
probably the outgrowth of moral considerations, it soon came 
to be regarded in the light of a partial compensation for the 
various restrictions which were laid on the tobacco industry 
of the colonies. But the government found it an extremely 
difficult, if not an impossible, task to enforce this regulation. 
This is proven by the long series of proclamations on the 
subject which were issued during this and the succeeding 
reign. In the spring of 1620 the company learned that 
tobacco was again being planted in the realm, and plead for 
a mitigation of the impost,^ but this does not appear to have 
been secured. The continuance of that part of it which was 
popularly known as a " garbling duty ^ was insured by a 
proclamation of April 2, 1620, designating a commission of 
eight members, who should prepare rules for ^* distinguishing 
of the aforesaid Drug . . ., whereby the Goodness or Bad- 
ness of the said tobacco may be discerned." It was pro- 
vided that when such rules were perfected and enrolled in 
the chancery, they should be duly enforced.' 

By a proclamation of June 20, 1620, ^^ for restraint of dis- 
ordered trading in tobacco," provision was made not only for 
the enforcement of the earlier orders against the raising of 
the weed in England, but that no one who was not authorized 

^ Hecs, of Va. Co. L 290, 292. The proclamatioii is referred to in Rymer, 
X VTL 233. It is (»lendared in the 4th Report of Hist Mss. Com. Ft. I, p. 299. 
a Recs. of Va. Co. I. 316, 321, 327, 339, 342. 
* Rymer, XVU. 191 etseq. On garbling see also Recs. of Va. Co. II. 60. 


PART by patent so to do should import any tobacco into the iealm. 
'^ With this act the policy was inaugurated of bestowing on 
private parties the monopoly of the importation of the com- 
modity for limited periods. This was in full harmony with 
the administrative methods of the time, and a patent for one 
year was granted to Sir Thomas Roe, Abraham Jacob, and 
others, they paying the king a rent of £10,000 for the 
privilege. All tobacco which was legally imported was com- 
manded to be sealed, in order to distinguish it from that 
which was smuggled. None whatever should be sold which 
was not sealed, and full powers of search and seizure,^ under 
general warrants with writs of assistance, were given the 
customs officers as an aid in enforcing the proclamation. 
The Virginia and Somers islands companies could now im- 
port tobacco only in such quantities as the latter chose to 
admit. As the result of an application to the king, the two 
companies were permitted by the undertakers to import and 
sell in the realm during the year 55,000 pounds of tobacco. 
As this was about the amount which the Somers islands com- 
pany alone could import, and since the production and sale 
of tobacco was its only resource, the Virginia company 
resolved for the coming year to vacate the field in the in- 
terest of the sister company, and to bring no tobacco to the 
English market. It arranged, instead, to dispose of its 
product on the Continent, and to make Middleburg ^ in the 
Netherlands its port of entry and sale. A factor was ap- 
pointed to act as agent for the company at that place, and 
when, in July, 1621, the magazine ship Bona Nova returned 
from Virginia loaded with 40,000 or 50,000 pounds of 
tobacco, the master was ordered to depart at once for Middle- 
burg and deliver the cargo to the factor and consignees. A 
part of this cargo had been shipped on the account of the 
subscribers to the old magazine and a part belonged to the 
magazine of 1620. 

But this plan the company found it impossible to execute, 
for it violated what, under the influence of mercantilist con- 

1 Recs. of Va. Co. 1.189, 141, 406 ; H. 68 ; Rymer, XVII, 233. There are 
entries relating to this in the Privy Council Register, under dates beginning on 
April 6, 1620. > Recs. of Va. Co. I. 406, 604, 626. 


ceptions, were understood to be the interests of England, chap. 
These indicated that a colonial product so valuable as tobacco ^ ^ 
should be landed wholly in the realm. Presently complaint ^ 
was made to the privy council that the company was setting 
up a trade in the Netherlands and was transporting its com- 
modities thither. An inquiry was at once sent by the board 
to the company to know whether it proposed to continue this 
trade or not. A court was called, and ^^ after much dispute 
and many reasons given of the impossybillyty of beinge 
bound to bring in all their comodities into England with- 
out fallinge into great inconvenyencies," an answer was pre- 
pared and sent to the council. In this the company claimed 
that the restraints to which it was subjected were greater 
than those imposed on the Muscovy company or on any other 
corporation; that several of the patents which it had granted 
in Virginia contained clauses guarantying freedom of trade 
with other nations, a privilege which the company itself had 
previously enjoyed; that the company did not feel itself em- 
powered to limit the trading privileges of private planters 
or to prescribe the business for about a thousand adventurers 
who were resident in England. A direct trade, they said, had 
also arisen between Virginia and Ireland, by which the colony 
was being supplied with cattle and other necessities, and this 
would be destroyed by the regulations which had been sug- 
gested. The claim to freedom of trade in general was urged 
by the company. But the council was imperative, and on 
October 24, 1621,^ an order was issued forbidding the export 
of any Virginia commodities to foreign parts until they had 
been landed in England and had paid the duties there. This 
order was repeated in March, 1623, thus clearly revealing the 
fact, even at this early date, that it was the intention of the 
government to make the ports of the realm the staple ports 
for colonial trade. The two companies thus became subject 
to the stint and to the conditions established by the con- 
tractors or monopolists who were recog^zed by the govern- 
ment, among which was a garbling duty. For the year 1622 

I Rec8. of Va. Co. I. 626. 

s Rid, I. 628, 63(V-632, 637 ; IL 322-323 ; CoL Papers, 1674-1660, p. 26. 

VOL. lU. — D 


Jacob received the monopoly ^ of importation, and the com- 
panies were ordered to bring in all their tobacco subject to 
his privileges. But as a partial compensation the crown pro- 
hibited the planting of tobacco within the realm, and in 
return for this favor the companies consented to the doubling 
of their duties for five years. 

But soon plans were under discussion which were intended 
to transfer the monopoly that Jacob held to the companies 
themselves. ^^The variety of crosses," said Sandys later,^ 
^^ advised them to listen to the making of some settled con- 
tract with his Majesty, as well for his Majesty's profit, as 
for the benefit of the plantations, thereby to exclude new 
practices of the same or other new projectors." Thus some 
of the principal members of the companies conceived the 
idea of a contract with the crown* It was discussed by Sir 
Arthur Ingram and Sir Edwin Sandys with Lord Treasurer 
Middlesex. The lord treasurer had long been a member of 
the Virginia company and one of its councillors, and it was 
probably by him that the suggestion was brought before the 
privy council. Middlesex in preliminary discussions ' with 
Sir Arthur Ingram and Sir Edwin Sandys suggested that a 
contract should be arranged according to which the London 
and Somers islands companies should take the place of the 
existing patentees and themselves enjoy the monopoly of the 
importation of tobacco into the realm and Ireland. In this 
way they would have full control of their commodity, and, 
judging from the large bonuses which recent monopolists 
had paid, Middlesex thought that the companies could afford 
to pay a considerable rent to the crown. At his request 
Sandys and Ingram considered what terms the companies 
could afford to make, and concluded that they could pay the 
king one-fourth of the tobacco imported. The lord treas- 
urer, however, thought that, in view of the large sale of 
tobacco and its price, a proper g^nt to the king would be a 
third, while in addition the existing rates of duty — 6(2. 
per pound for roll tobacco and 4(2. for leaf — must be paid. 

1 Re<». of Va. Co. L 442 ; 11. 67. 

* JbicL n. 176. See a somewhat different a(sooiint in Discoone of the 
Old Company, Ya. Mag. of Hist L 290 et $eq, * Ibid. IL S6 et ieq. 


The lord treasurer's proposition was submitted by Sandys CHAP, 
to the two companies and it was by them entertained. 
Committees were appointed to further consider it. The 
first proposition^ of the companies was that, in return for 
the grant of the sole right of importation for seven years, 
they would pay the king £20,000 per annum. This they 
estimated would be the value of one-fourth of the commodity 
imported. That should go directly to the king, and if it 
yielded less than the amount named, the difference should be 
made good by the companies. They would also pay the duty 
of 6(2. per pound for roll tobacco and 4d. per pound for 
leaf, as specified in the book of rates, but they asked that 
this be fixed by computation at an average sum. Owing 
to the superior quality of Spanish tobacco and to the 
demand for it in England, coupled also with the strong 
Spanish influence at court, a concession in favor of that 
product was made by the companies. The amount of Span- 
ish tobacco which should be annually imported was fixed at 
not more than 60,000, nor less than 40,000 pounds, provided 
the prices at which it was being sold in Spain were not in- 
creased, and that the market for tobacco were left as free 
there as formerly it was.' Of the importation and sale of 
Spanish tobacco, of the disposition of the product of private 
planters in Virginia as well as their own product, officers 
appointed by the companies should have exclusive control. 
Expenses should be charged proportionately upon the king's 
share and that of the companies. Finally, the king was 
asked to limit by proclamation both the wholesale and retail 
prices of the commodity and to forbid the planting of tobacco 
both in England and Ireland. After considerable discussion, 
as a result of which the companies abandoned their insistence 
on the issue of a proclamation fixing the prices of tobacco in 
England, and unwillingly accepted a clause which required 
them to import during the first three years 80,000 pounds of 
the best Varina tobacco or be answerable to the king for 

1 Ibid. n. 68. 

' At this time, though Spanish tobacco sold for mach higher prices than 
Virginia tobacco, the duties on it were the same. That inequality was later 


PART every pound that was lacking, the contract seemed to have 
^^' been reduced to a form which was satisfactory to the 
government. The contract was to continue for seven 
years. ^ 

When this point had been reached, a committee which had 
been appointed for the purpose reported on the administrative 
organization that was necessary for executing the contract. 
It recommended tliat a director of the enterprise should be 
appointed, and that associated with him should be a deputy, 
a treasurer, and a committee. A bookkeeper, a solicitor, an 
husband, and a beadle should be appointed, while the ap- 
pointment of two cashiers and a clerk was to be left to the 
treasurer. The officers were all to be salaried, and for the 
sake of economy it was suggested that for the first year 
the same individual might perform the duties of both deputy 
and treasurer.' It was estimated that the total salary list 
would be about £2500 per annum. The report of the com- 
mittee met with the general approval of both companies, the 
opinion being held that the business could not be well 
managed with a smaller number of officials or at much less 
cost. Sandys was therefore chosen director and John Ferrar 
deputy, though both men sought on various pleas to excuse 
themselves. Had this plan been carried into execution, its 
administrative relation to the company would apparently 
have been like that which was borne by the later mag- 
azines, to which reference has been made in an earlier 

At this point the case against ex-governor Argall,^ a 
protege of the Earl of Warwick, to which extended refer- 

1 The contract in a form most closely approaching that which it finally 
assumed is in Recs. of Va. Co. II. 86. Later debates and emendations 
appear, ibid. 97, 121, 138-140, 147-148. 

3 For list of the lower officials, with their salaries, see ibid. II. 14^151. 
See also pp. 144 and 146. On p. 268 is a good description by Sandys of the 
burdensome duties which would fall upon a director in that business. The 
discussions over this matter occupy much of the second volume of the 

« See edition of Recs. of the Co. in Colls, of Va. Hist. Soc. II. 29-48, which 
is a compilation of entries under various dates during the years 1620-1622, to 
be found in the new edition of the Records. 


ence has been made in the first yolume of this work, came CHAP, 
up for final decision by the company. Sandys led in the 
prosecution of Argall and formulated the charges against him 
with his usual ability. Opinion among the members of the 
company ran strongly against the ex-governor, and the verdict 
of his court-martial against Edward Brewster was declared un- 
lawful and of no validity.^ A committee was also appointed 
to examine his accounts. When the case had proceeded thus 
far, Samuel Wrote, a cousin of the Earl of Middlesex, but 
one who had hitherto been a respected member of the company 
and was now in its council, burst forth in severe denuncia- 
tion of its management.' This was directed against Sandys, 
Southampton, and Ferrar, and what some jealously regarded 
as their overweening influence. Some began to say that 
members were prevented from speaking their minds, and 
that measures were carried with a high hand. One of the 
chief points also against which Wrote inveighed was the 
salaries which it was proposed to pay the officials who had 
been appointed to manage the tobacco monopoly. He charged 
that they were extravagant in amount, and that this, like 
other matters, had been too exclusively under the manage- 
ment of Sandys. When Wrote after a stormy meeting of 
the council had not only refused to withdraw his utterances, 
but continued his insolent bearing, especially toward the 
Earl of Southampton, and after for a time he had absented 
himself from meetings of the council and committees, he 
was suspended from the company. His conduct throughout 
was such as to indicate that he was the mouthpiece of a 
faction which was forming against the existing management. 
It soon appeared that the king and lord treasurer were in- 
teresting themselves in Wrote's charges,^ that they were 
perhaps watching the discussions with a view to the possi- 
bility of utilizing them as an excuse for again interfering in 
the internal afifairs of the company. The friends of Sir 
Thomas Smith and Alderman Johnson were ready to avail 

1 Ibid. 42, 46. * New edition of the Records, n. 163 et seq, 

* See the statements of Sir Henry Mildmay made at a preparative court, 

held Febroary 8, 1628, Recs. II. 216-248, 252 ; also Discourse of the Old 

Company, Va. Mag. of Hist. I. 292. 


PART themselves of this as a means of recovering control of the 

^ ^^' J company or of destroying it. 

There is evidence that almost from the start the adminis- 
tration of Sandys and Southampton had been viewed with 
aversion. Those whom it had supplanted would naturally so 
regard it. The knighting of Yeardley, who stood near to 
Sandys, greatly offended Sir Thomas Smith in 1619, and 
some other members of the company are said to have felt 
bitterly toward the governor. Sandys wrote, in September, 
1619, that he had to meet much malignity in connection with 
accounting, before which he believed he would have quailed 
if it had not been for the support of the Earl of Southampton. 
As we know from his own statement, expenditures under the 
management of Sandys and his associates were most liberal. 
Large numbers of colonists were sent to Virginia, and the 
scale on which business was managed by the company was 
enlarged upon with pride by Sandys and the Ferrars in all 
their statements. But this had its unfavorable and danger- 
ous tendency. Yeardley, in the summer of 1620, warned 
Sandys not to send over colonists faster than they could be 
cared for, not to undertake works greater than Virginia 
could bear. Mortality among settlers, he said, was great, 
and at times they were in danger of famine. There is some 
evidence, though of course it does not appear in the formal 
records of the company, that their heavy expenditures in- 
volved its managers in some financial embarrassment. This 
fact helped to give currency to many exaggerated or false 
statements by enemies of Sandys and the Ferrars. They 
charged that the resources of the company were being wasted 
by the wholesale ; that one Gabriel Barber, whom Sandys is 
said to have employed as a secretary, was deeply involved in 
this ; that incriminating letters had been destroyed and false 
entries made. It was also said that Sandys and the Ferrars 
owned little or no land in Virginia, and thus had no stake in 
the colony which they were recklessly mismanaging. Wrote 
is mentioned as among those who were circulating these 
complaints. The fact seems to be that the charges were 
being used to an extent by the Smith- Warwick faction at the 
time when the question of expenditures under the tobacco 


contract came up, and even when Wrote launched his accusa- CHAP, 
tions publicly against the management.^ ^ 

An immediate consequence of Wrote's outburst was that 
a proposition, emanating from him and his friends, for the 
reduction of the salary list proposed for the officials who 
were to administer the tobacco monopoly, was submitted to 
the companies and debated at length.^ It was claimed that 
the companies themselves by means of extraordinary courts 
could perform the functions of a director. A merchant could 
be appointed treasurer at a salary of £100. The salaries of 
others might be fixed at lower rates, and in this way it was 
estimated that £1800 per year might be saved to the two com- 
panies. In the very interesting debates upon these proposals 
Sandys and his friends, supported by nearly all the members 
who were in attendance, argued that it was impossible to 
secure good service, of the difficult and responsible nature 
that was required, for less than the specified sum. The 
proposition to (Substitute courts or a board for a single di- 
rector was condemned as not only a departure from the 
practice of other companies and joint stocks, but as bad pol- 
icy in itself. Sir Edwin Sandys' said, ^Hhat in a body con- 
sisting of many members, which must all concur in one action, 
there must be by necessity of nature and reason one head to 
contain and direct them unto unity, that to make this one 
head two courts, to be assembled upon every needful occasion, 
was a thing not only repugnant to the celerity of despatch, 
but also of insupportable toil both to the Governor, Council, 
and Company." A case was also cited from the experience 
of the Somers islands company, where a question, which had 
passed two ordinary courts, had been much debated in a pre- 
parative court, and concluded in a greater court, because of 
the demand of one man who had not been present, had to be 
ag^in read and argued. 

1 The authority for the above statements is to be found in letters of Sandys 
and Teardley in the Ferrar Papers, and in material contained in copies of 
some of the Manchester Papers ; all of which, in manuscript form, is now in 
the Library of Congress. The evidence, as marshalled by Sir Nathaniel Rich, 
is in Eighth Report of Hist. Mss. Comm. App. Pt. II. 

* Recs. of Va. Co. n. 225 et seq. * Ibid. 229. 


Upon the question, whether or not £100 was a sufficient 
salary for the treasurer of the tobacco monopoly, it was stated 
that it was not safe to commit stock to one who would accept 
the office for so small a salary, and that he must give security 
for heavy money transfers. The experience of the East India 
company was cited to the effect that it had just paid a salary 
ranging from £800 to £500 to its treasurer. 

After all the proposals of Wrote and his friends on prelim- 
inary debate had been most carefully examined, weighed, and 
rejected by overwhelming adverse votes, in a joint meeting ^ 
of the two companies the contract, as signed for seven years 
by the lord treasurer and approved * by the privy council, was 
submitted and accepted. Then the question of salaries was 
taken up for final settlement. Several of the opponents of the 
scheme sought to stave this off by declaring that they were not 
ready for debate. Southampton marvelled at this, inasmuch 
as they had begun the trouble. Sandys, who had now resigned 
the directorship, spoke his mind, setting forth the heavy duties 
of a director in such an enterprise, and stating that two men 
instead of one were needed. Sir Nathaniel Rich and Alder- 
man Johnson then presented some more objections which, 
though indirectly relating to salaries, concerned directly the 
division of expense between the two companies. These were 
all termed generalities by the majority and rejected. 

Thereupon an effort was made to induce some one to take 
the place of director. Sir Nathaniel Rich, Sir Thomas Wroth, 
Edward Johnson,^ were offered the place, but all professed 
themselves unequal to it. It was then voted not to accept 
Sandys's resignation, and he was earnestly entreated not to 
retire, as such a course was likely to prove fatal to the enter- 
prise. Deputy Ferrar then presented a plan,* which was 
carefully worked out in every detail, for the care of the to- 
bacco after it arrived in port and while it was on sale, the 
object being to prevent smuggling and losses of all kinds to 
the company, and to secure just returns to each private planter 

1 Recs. of Va. Co. II. 264 et seq. 

* The order in council approving the contract was dated Feb. 2, 1628. 
Colonial Papers, 1574-1660, p. 37. 

< Recs. of Va. Co. 272. « Ibid. 2S1 e( seg. 


whose crop was imported and sold under the auspices of the CHAP, 
company. This involved the difficult problem of fixing ^ j 

prices, and it was resolved that in this, as in all other mat- 
ters which concerned the contract, the two companies must 
act jointly and that nothing should be determined without 
the joint consent of both. 

At this juncture the malcontents complained to the king 
and council of alleged dissensions and suppression of free 
discussion in the Virginia company.^ Wrote and Bing were 
put forward for this purpose, while Sir Nathaniel Rich en- 
larged upon the injustice of granting so large a proportion of 
the tobacco to the king. The king at once took advantage 
of this to state that, in consideration of the license for lot- 
eries and of many other favors which he had done for the com- 
pany, contract or no contract, the company ought to bring 
all their commodities into the king's dominions, so that they 
might pay custom there. The opposers were elated by this, 
and Wrote stated that a petition from Virginia in favor of 
the policy to which the king referred had been suppressed 
by Deputy Ferrar. The truth, however, was that the peti- 
tion^ contained simply an appeal from the colonists for lib- 
erty to send their tobacco to England, that product having at 
the time been excluded from English ports by royal procla- 

But the evil was done. The privy council summoned repre- 
sentatives of both parties in both companies to appear before 
it and settle the tobacco business. At the hearing which 
followed, and which was numerously attended. Lord Cav- 
endish, treasurer of the Somers island company, was chief 
spokesman for the two companies. Bing made a long and vio- 
lent speech against the contract, alleging oppression in the 
passing of it, and using such insulting language about the Earl 
of Southampton as to call forth a severe rebuke from the lords 
of the council, and to result in his subsequent imprison- 
ment.^ The most that he could make out was, that the rank 

^ Ibid, n. 207, 802 et seq. A discuasion of these points at length will he 
found in the Relation of the late proceedings of the Virginia and Somers 
Islands Companies, ibid, 862 et seq. See also Discourse of the Old Company. 

* Ibid, 80a * Colonial Papers, July 25, 1624. 


PART of Southampton and his associates had overawed some of 
^^* the generality, and that an expression of Southampton to the 
effect that they must accept the contract or do worse had 
been misinterpreted. The point was also raised that the 
contract would be injurious to the plantation; but to this the 
company had a ready answer, that it had accepted the contract 
not as perfect, but as the best that could be had. 

Though the lords of the council seemed to have been 
favorably impressed by the representations of the company, 
they renewed the demand that all the products of the colo- 
nies should be brought to England, and seemed still to feel 
offended because, a year and a half before, an attempt had 
been made to carry some of them to the Netherlands. On 
March 4, 1623,^ this sentiment found decisive expression in 
the renewal of the order of October 24, 1621, that all Vir- 
ginia commodities should be landed first in England. This 
was at once interpreted as the work of the ^^ opposers," and 
Sandys was set about the preparation of a reply to the 
council.' In this he argued that the Virginia company was 
engaged not merely in trade, but in colonization as well, 
and, as a result of its work as a colonizer, a large number 
of private planters had settled in Virginia. They enjoyed 
freedom of production and trade and should continue to do 
so. Over their industry the company had no control. 
Many of the commodities which they produced, like fish, 
caviar, pipe staves, sassafras, salt, ^^ and the meaner quality 
of tobacco, would not be salable at any saving price" in 
England, but might be somewhat profitably marketed else- 
where. The ships which went to Virginia usually made 
profitable indirect voyages. A remunerative trade had 
sprung up between Ireland and Virginia, whereby the col- 
ony secured cattle and other necessaries cheaply, and paid 
for them in tobacco. If the policy of the order in council was 
followed, all these profitable lines of trade would be ruined. 
But Sandys's paper did not occasion a recall of the order in 
council, while the order itself indicated that the tobacco con- 
tract was being abandoned by the government. Indeed a 

1 RecB. of Va. Co. II. 321. « Ibid. 823, 326. 


proposal w2La now somewhat debated to allow free importa- CHAP, 
tion of tobacco from all quarters, a policy which Sandys at y j 

once denounced as sure to so depress the price as to ruin the 
tobacco industry in the colonies. At this juncture, however, 
the subject of tobacco in general was lost sight of in the 
discussion of other questions that directly concerned the 
relations, as a whole, which existed between the company 
and its province. 

In April, 1628, Alderman Johnson, as a representative of 
the opposition within the company, presented a petition ^ to 
the king, in which he contrasted the prosperity of Virginia 
under the administration of Sir Thomas Smith with the 
alleged discord, abuses, and lack of proportionate returns 
under the existing management. He asked that a commis- 
sion under the great seal be appointed to inquire into the 
condition of the colony when Smith's administration closed, 
including the expenditures and abuses which had arisen since 
that time; and to recommend such changes in the government 
of Virginia as would bring contentions to an end, punish 
the authors of evil, and best secure the prosperity of the 
undertaking. The commission was immediately appointed,^ 
with Sir William Jones, a justice of common pleas, at its 
head. This body was ordered to inquire into the past 
business transactions of the company, to find out what 
moneys it had received or collected, and how they had been 
spent. With special care it should inquire after alleged 
misuse of private parties, to the loss or injury either of the 
company or the plantation. They were to ascertain what 
orders or laws had been made which were inconsistent with 
the charters ; of what misgovernment the company had been 
guilty, and what injury adventurers had suffered in conse- 
quence of it. If unnecessary hindrances to trade within 
Virginia existed, these were to be investigated. The com- 
mission was finally to ascertain by what means contentions 

1 Bees, of Va. Co. n. 346, 873 ; Neill, Virginia Company, 887. 

s Colonial Papers, 1574-1600, 44, 62; Ms. Recs. of Va., Bland Copy, 
126 ; Brown, first Republic, 620 et seq. Jones served until the following 
October, when by reason of other employment (presumably on the bench) 
he was excused. But the commission was ordered to continue its inquiry. 


PART might be stopped, and both the business affairs and govern- 
• ^ ment of Virginia improved. In the performance of this 
duty the commission was given power to send for persons 
and papers and to examine under oath. It was to report to 
the privy council. 

The companies were also ordered to write a general letter 
to the colonists, exhorting them to live together in concord, 
and no private letters referring at all to dissensions were to 
be sent. The privy council was also to write to both plan- 
tations, assuring them of the king's solicitude and of his 
purpose to make better provision for them. By an order in 
council of April 28, the letters of the companies were dis- 
allowed because they failed to certify the king's grace and 
favor to the plantations. The tobacco contract was by 
the same order dissolved. The company was told to bring 
all its tobacco to England, and 8d. in the pound was 
abated from the customs. But as Spanish tobacco was also 
freely admitted, the company found it far from possible to 
market all their products.^ 

In the spring of 1622, more than a year before the occur- 
rence of the events just related, the hatred with which 
Opechancanough and his followers had always regarded the 
English had culminated in a massacre ^ of the inhabitants of 
the upper settlements of Virginia. Three hundred and forty- 
seven had perished, among them being six councillors, 
George Thorpe, deputy of the college lands, John Berkeley, 
master of the iron works, and others upon whom depended 
the execution of the company's cherished plans. Jamestown 
and the lower settlements were saved by a timely revelation 
of the plot, for which the English were indebted to a con- 
verted Indian. The massacre greatly reduced the produc- 
tive power of the colony, and disappointed to an extent the 
hopes of the company for a steadily increasing return. It 
also contributed to increase the complications in which the 
company was becoming involved at home. 

Soon after the massacre Captain Nathaniel Butler, who 
had been governor of the Somers islands, but had been forced 

1 Col. Papers, April 28, 1623 ; Recs. of Va. Co. II. 367-369, 640 ; Discourse 
of the Old Company. ^ See Waterhoose's Relation, Neill, 318. 


to leave them in order to avoid examination into certain CHAP. 

misdemeanors which he was charged with committing while ^^ [_ 

in office, came to Virginia.^ He found the province de- 
pressed and suffering from the effects of the massacre. 
Collecting all the unfavorable characteristics of the climate, 
soil, and settlements, as he saw them, he set them forth in a 
dismal picture of the province, which was circulated on his 
return to England under the title of ^^ The Unmasked Face 
of our Colony in Virginia, as it was in the Winter of 
the year 1622."' He found the plantations seated in un- 
healthy places, the settlements unprovided with wharves 
where landings could be safely effected, no inn where new- 
comers could find entertainment, food scarce and high, sick- 
ness prevalent, the dwellings no better than the meanest 
cottages in England, no fortification, and not a serviceable 
piece of ordnance in the province. In government the 
colonists had wilfully strayed from the law and customs of 
England. So great was the mortality among the inhabit- 
ants, arising from abuses and neglect, from the self-seeking 
of some of the company, and the poor administration of their 
agents in Virginia, that unless the evils were ^^ redressed 
with speed by some divine and supreme hand, instead of a 
plantation it will get the name of a slaughter-house, and so 
justly become both odious to ourselves and contemptible to 
all the world." This was the conclusion to which Captain 
Butler came after dwelling on all the unfavorable aspects 
of Virginia life and excluding everything which indicated 
improvement. That there was much truth in Butler's ac- 
count is proven from other sources. Several of the com- 
pany's plans for establishing new industries had been 
wrecked by the massacre or by adverse natural conditions. 
Sickness was still prevalent, and Jamestown was in an 
unhealthy location. Sandys and the Ferrars had never 
visited Virginia, and their plans were in some respects un- 
practical. But many of the defects to which Butler called 
attention were unavoidable, and their presence in Virginia 
is traceable long after the dissolution of the company. His 

1 This is the account given of him in the Recs. of Va. Co. n. 400 et seq, 
> md. 874 et seq. ; NeUl, 896. 


PART statement, however, served the purpose of the clique which 
was striving to manufacture a case against the company, 
and for a time it played an important part in their agitation. 
To the charges preferred by Alderman Johnson, as well 
as the pamphlet of Captain Butler, the company made sev- 
eral replies.^ For this purpose its active members resolved 
themselves into a large committee, and this held frequent 
sessions. The documents were formulated chiefly by 
Sandys and the two Ferrars, and set forth not only the 
just and able management of affairs within the company 
itself, but the progress which had attended its policy in the 
colony since the retirement of Sir Thomas Smith. A state- 
ment was procured from the colonists themselves that 
proved the exaggeration in the assertions which Butler had 
made. "A Declaration made by the council ... of their 
Judgments touching one original great cause of the dissen- 
tions in the Companies and present oppositions," ^ is a spe- 
cially suggestive statement of what the company believed to 
have been the personal and political motives which gave 
rise to the attack upon it.^ It represents the Earl of War- 
wick as the prime mover, and his friend Argall, with Sir 
Nathaniel Rich, Johnson, Pory, — the late secretary of Vir- 
ginia, — and the rest, as his supporters or instruments in the 
work. Their purpose was alleged to be either to control the 
company or ruin it. So sharp was the arraignment of the 
Earl and his party in this that Warwick procured an order by 
which Cavendish, Sandys, and the two Ferrars were confined 
for a time to their houses.* Southampton may also have 
received the same treatment. An attempt was made to 
attract Nicholas Ferrar away from the service of the com- 
pany by the offer of a clerkship to the council, or the posi- 
tion of envoy to the court of Savoy, but these he declined. 

1 Recs. of Va. Co. IL 862, 381, 303, 397, 400. 2 75^^. 400. 

* What the leaders of the Sandys party thought somewhat later of the 
statements contained hi Butler^s attack, may be seen in the Discourse of the 
Old Company, Va. Mag. of Hist. I. 205. 

* Brown, First Republic, 622, 526-526, 629, 642, 567 ; Peckford, Life of 
Nicholas Ferrar, 132 ; Reos. of Va. Co. IL 433 ; Colonial Papers, 1674-1660, 


The later career of the Earl of Warwick indicated that CHAP, 
personal rather than political motives were at the founda- 
tion of his quarrel with Sandys. 

The company soon found that its most important powers 
had passed to the council and the royal commission, and that 
it was left with the task of defending itself against charges 
and executing a few orders of the commission. Conditions 
similar to those which existed under the charter of 1606 had 
returned. Not only had the privy council taken charge of 
all correspondence with the colony, but the king ordered * 
that all complaints against the company should be submitted 
to the commissioners, so that controversies should no longer 
occur in its courts. He also ordered the election^ of officers 
to be postponed and those who were already in office were 
continued until April, 1624, when the company held its last 
election. Reports of lack of food arriving from the colony, 
the council directed the company to supply what was neces- 
sary, and a sum was raised by subscription for the purpose.^ 
The royal commissioners instituted a prolonged investiga- 
tion, examining the company's papers and hearing witnesses. 
Their sessions were often held at the house of Sir Thomas 
Smith. The report which they made, while moderate in 
tone, was less favorable to the contentions of the company 
than to those of its opponents, and confirmed the king in his 
resolve to change the government of the colony.* Captain 
John Harvey, John Pory, Abraham Peirsey, and Captain 
Samuel Mathews, men who were later described by Sandys 
and his friends as ** certayne obscure persons " " found out 
by the Earl of Middlesex," were appointed as commissioners 
to Virginia and instructed to report fully on its condition. 
This was probably the first royal commission ever sent to an 
English colony in America. 

The really decisive blow against the company was struck 
on October 8, 1628.* The deputy (Nicholas Ferrar) and 
several members of the company were called before the privy 

1 Rec8. of Va. Co. n. 434. < Ibid, 461, 531, 635. < Ibid, 468 et seq, 
« Colonial Papers, 1674-1660, 53, 64 ; Brown, First Republic, 641-549. 
* Bees, of Va. Co. 460 et seq, ; Colonial Papers, 1674-1660, 51, 52 ; 
Brown, Eirst Bepublic, 550 et seq. 


PART council and told that the king had resolved, by a new charter, 
to appoint a governor and twelve assistants to be resident in 
England, to whom, in subordination to the privy council, he 
would commit the government of the colony and company. 
Provision was also made for the appointment by the king of 
a governor and assistants for the colony on nomination by 
the superior board in England. The company was ordered 
to assemble and resolve whether it would surrender its former 
charters and accept a new one with the changes just described. 
It was a measure which probably originated in political 
motives, though they might be veiled under the phrase " con- 
siderations of public policy," and its effect would be to leave 
the patentees with the trading privileges which they had 
under the charter of 1606 and nothing more. But a decision 
must be promptly reached, as the king had determined, in 
case the submission was not forthcoming, ^^ to proceed for the 
recalling of the said former charters in such sort as shall be 
just." This course of action was adopted in accordance with 
advice which had been given by the law officers of the crown 
more than two months before.^ 

It is not surprising that when this command was read in 
an ordinary court of the company, and even after it had been 
read three several times, ^Hhe Company seemed amazed 
at the proposition, so as no man spake thereunto for a long 
time." Finally the members who were present were roused 
from their stupor by the statement of the deputy that an 
answer was expected by the council on the following Friday. 
After considering that important business like this could be 
transacted only in a quarter court, they resolved to petition 
the council for respite until the order could be submitted to 
the entire company. A call was at the same time issued 
for a quarter court to meet on the 19th of November. 
But the king would not allow the decision to be postponed 
until that time, and called^ for a final answer on the 
20th of October. Thereupon, at a meeting attended by 
almost seventy members of the company, it was resolved, 

1 Colonial Papers, July 31, 1623. 

« Recs. of Va. Co. IT. 478 ; Colonial Papers, 1574-1660, 63 ; Brown, 653 
et seq. 


with only nine dissenting votes, not to surrender the charter. CHAP. 
Within a brief time after this reply was received from the 
company, quo warranto proceedings were instituted by Attor- 
ney General Coventry before the King's Bench. Early in 
November an information was served on the company.^ 

As was customary in such cases, both the information and 
the reply of the company were formal. They recited the 
powers which had been bestowed by charter. The informa- 
tion closed with the statement that these liberties had been 
usurped to the damage and prejudice of the king and the 
great contempt of the sovereign, and with the demand that 
the patentees show by what warrant they were using the 
same. The prayer of the company in its reply was that the 
suit might be dismissed, since they had never used or claimed 
other privileges than those to which they were legally 
entitled by the charter. 

The members who were in attendance when the writ was 
read immediately resolved to stand suit. When the quarter 
court met, on November 19, the course pursued by the 
ordinary and preparative courts which had preceded it was 
submitted and approved, and a grand committee was chosen 
to take charge of the defence of the company's interests 
before the King's Bench. A resolution that the expenses of 
the suit be paid from the general funds of the company was 
met by a petition from Alderman Johnson to the privy coun- 
cil, that the charges be borne by those members who opposed 
the suirrender of the charter, and to that end that all goods 
and public stock of the company which should be imported be 
sequestered at the custom house for the general uses of the 
plantation. To this, however, the council refused to assent. 

In March, 1624, the royal commissioners, having reached 
Virginia, asked the governor and assembly to give them 
information concerning the defences of the colony, its rela- 
tions with the Indians, and its prospects in general. After 
reply had been made to these inquiries,^ the commissioners 

1 Colonial Papers, 1674-1600, 64 ; Records of Va. Co. 1. 184 ; n. 478. 

* See Va. Mag. of Hist. VIL 136, for the punishment of Edward Sharpless, 
acting secretary of the colony, for delivering papers of the governor, council, 
and boxgeases to the commissioners without authority so to do. 
VOL, in— « 


PART presented a form which they wished the members of the 
^' assembly to subscribe. It expressed gratitude to the king 
for his care of the colony and willingness that the old char- 
ter should be revoked and a new one given. The governor 
and assembly replied that they conceived the resolve of the 
king to change the government proceeded from misinforma- 
tion, which they hoped might be removed. They would 
consent to the surrender of the patent when required so to 
do by the proper authorities. They also wished to know 
whether the commissioners were authorized to demand that 
the declaration which had been presented should be sub- 
scribed. The commissioners confessed that they had no such 
authority, but made the proposal " by way of counsel for the 
good of the plantation." In a letter to the privy council the 
governor and assembly said that they saw no prospect of 
ruin if government by the company was continued. They 
had no accusation to bring against those who had managed 
it since Sir Thomas Smith's time. The slavery they then 
suffered had since been converted into freedom. Had it 
not been for the massacre, there would have been no reason 
to complain of the condition of the colony. But if they 
were to be placed under the immediate control of the crown, 
they begged that the assembly might be retained. In 
July, 1624, a long ^ petition was sent by Governor Wyatt and 
the assembly to the king, in which the evils suffered by the 
colonists during the administration of Sir Thomas Smith 
were fully set forth and contrasted with the freedom and 
prosperity which, it was claimed, had succeeded it. They 
prayed, that if the government was to be changed, they 
might not fall into the hands of Sir Thomas Smith or his 

These utterances conclusively proved, if such proof was 
necessary, that the administration of the province under 
Sandys and Southampton had been satisfactory to the rul- 
ing body of the colonists, and that Johnson and his friends 
could get no comfort from that quarter. But this made 
no difference with the result, for, when the plans of the 
government were matured, the commissioners were ordered 

1 Col. Papers, 1574-1660, 66-68. 


to return the papers of the company, the pretence of an in- chap. 
vestigation ceased, and the case was prepared for trial before ^ ^^• 
the King's Bench. 

While the company was struggling with the English ex- 
ecutive for existence, the parliament which impeached Lord 
Treasurer Middlesex and passed the act against monopolies 
was in session. It was believed that the house of Commons 
could be induced to actively support the cause of the com- 
pany, a cause which had so much in common with its own. 
For this reason Nicholas Ferrar, in April, 1624, drafted a 
petition^ for a hearing before the house, which, when ap- 
proved by the company, was sent to the Commons. It was 
received and a select committee was appointed to sit in the 
Star Chamber and hear testimony bearing on the company's 
case. Preparation was made for a full presentation of facts 
and arguments by representatives of the company, and such 
as would bear with special weight against Middlesex and 
Sir Nathaniel Rich. But when the king heard that the 
Commons were about to investigate the charges, he forbade 
them to proceed,^ saying that such matters were the special 
business of the council. The house yielded, though with 
expressions of discontent, and thus ended one of the earliest 
efforts to draw parliament actively into the work of colonial 

Judgment was rendered in the suit against the company 
by Sir James Ley, Chief Justice of King's Bench, in Trinity 
Term (May and June), 1624. It was to the effect that the 
plea of Nicholas Ferrar and the attorneys of the company 
was not sufficient to preclude the king from declaring that 
their privileges had been usurped. They were judged to 
have been convicted of said usurpation and — in the words 
of the decree — the "said privileges taken and seized into 
the hands of the king and the said N. Ferrar and others 
shall not intermeddle but from use and claim of the same 

1 Col. Papers, 60-62 ; and Recs. of Va. Co. IL 626, 628, 537; Neill, 415. 
Captain John Bargrave also petitioned the Commons about the abuses of Sir 
Thomas Smithes administration. The petition was heard before the com- 
mittee of grievances, and a reply was presented by Smith and Johnson. 

3 State Papers, Dom. May 6, 1024. 


PART shall be excluded. . . ."^ So far as the judgment and 
other entries on the record indicate, no attempt was made 
by the presentation of evidence on either side to prove or dis- 
prove the allegations of the government. The judgment 
simply rehearses the pro forma charges in the information 
and pronounces them sufficient to justify the forfeiture of 
the franchise. The impression given is that the king was so 
sure of his case and of his judge that more than this was 
not deemed necessary. 

The effect of an adverse judgment under a writ of quo 
warranto was not to cancel the charter, but to restore the 
liberties which existed under it into the hands of the king.' 
This is probably the reason why the charter does not appear 
as cancelled or vacated on the Patent Roll.* Under that 
condition it was quite possible that the patent might again 
be granted with such modifications as should appear wise to 
the king and his advisers. A result such as this was re- 
garded by both parties at the time as possible. The sup- 
porters of Sandys and the Ferrars desired that the new grant 
should be modelled on the old — but with the removal of its 
imperfections — and that it should be confirmed by act of 
parliament. As will appear, the discussion of a possible 
reissue of the charter was prolonged well into the next 
period; but the decisive step was never taken, and Virginia 
passed the remainder of its existence as a colony under the 
forms of a royal province. Although, because of its place 
of residence, the dissolution of the Virginia company was 

1 Coram Rege Roll, Court of King's Bench, No. 1528, 2l8t James I, 
Michaelmas Term. For the communication of the record of the qito loar- 
ranto proceedings I am indebted to Miss Susan M. Kingsbury, who discovered 
the document in the Public Record Office in London. 

3 Argument of Sawyer, in case of King vs. City of London, Howell, State 
Trials, VIIL 1147 et seq. ; Kyd, On Corporations, II. 407. 

* Brown, First Republic, 603. In one of the papers accompanying Clai- 
borne's Petition, Md. Archives, Council Proceedings, 1667-1688, 176, is a 
statement that ^*for manie years after noe Judgment [was] entered and to 
this time [1676] not vacated upon the Record in the office of the Rolls, 
whereby some that sought to overthrow the Lord Baltimore's Patent for Mary- 
land in the beginning of Parliament in Anno 1640 took out the Virginia 
Patten t againe under the broad seale of England.** Of the truth of the 
last improbable statement there is no proof which at present is available. 


more closely connected with English than American history, CHAP. 
yet it marked the first step in that long process by which ^ ^^ 
the crown continued to resume the authority over coloniza- 
tion which at the outset it had granted to individuals or 
corporations. In the event itself we may well consider that 
the company was treated summarily and with scant justice. 
But the process of development which was begun by its dis- 
solution was a natural one, though it marked the end of 
the romantic period of Virginia history and removed from 
connection with that province some of the most attractive 
personalities who ever interested themselves in American 



It is clear that the dissolution of the Virginia company 
was in large measure the result of the attitude of political 
opposition which those who directed its affairs between 1619 
and 1624 maintained toward the king. It was a minor phase 
in the great struggle which was then in progress between 
the Stuarts, with their autocratic ideals, and the growing 
body of Englishmen who looked to an invigorated parliament 
for an assertion of the ancient liberties of the nation and the 
maintenance of a system of guarantied rights. Puritanism 
contributed much toward the growth of that national senti- 
ment which expressed itself in the demands of the parlia- 
mentarians, but very many who were not Puritans in the 
technical sense gave evidence of possessing their spirit and 
contributed greatly toward the strength of the common 
movement. Such men were Sir Edwin Sandys and the 
Ferrars, with others also who shared their labors and plans 
in the councils of the Virginia company. The sympathy be- 
tween that company and the Puritans who settled Plymouth 
and Massachusetts is clearly evident, and their enterprises, 
though amid great diversity, sprang from motives which 
were in some ways related. 

But if the leaders in the Virginia company had shown irri- 
tation, combined with tendencies toward independence and 
self government, the Massachusetts company and colony had 
exhibited all these in a much higher degree. Massachusetts, 
by its very organization, to say nothing of the spirit by which 
it was animated, had practically declared independence at the 
very outset. It boldly made its challenge and awaited the 
result. If James I had found it necessary to restrain the ambi- 
tions of parliamentarians in the Virginia company, it would 



seem inevitable that Charles I should presently inquire into CHAP 
the use which men who in fact were already Puritan dissent- ^^ 
ers were making of the charter which he had granted them. 
But as these patentees had removed with their charter into 
their American colony and were themselves directly adminis- 
tering its affairs, the issue must naturally be taken on ques- 
tions which were more purely colonial than those that arose 
between the king and the Virginia company. This must be a 
controversy between the king and men who were actively col- 
onists, residents in America, and not with English noblemen 
and merchants who were interested in colonization. Press- 
ure, therefore, must be applied under somewhat different con- 
ditions in the one case from those which existed in the other. 

The theories held by the Stuarts concerning government 
naturally led them to favor, at least ostensibly, a system of 
strong executive control over the colonies. Such was the 
policy of James I, while Charles I, at the beginning of his 
reign, made formal announcement that he should follow a 
similar course not only in reference to Virginia, but toward 
the other colonies as well. " Our full resolution is," he de- 
clared in the proclamation^ of May 13, 1625, concerning 
Virginia, " that there may be one uniform Course of Govern- 
ment in and through all our whole Monarchy ; That the 
Government of the CoUorffe of Virginia shall immediately 
depend upon Ourself, and not be commytted to aiilSb Com- 
pany, or Corporation, to whome it may be proper ^40 trust 
Matters of Trade and Commerce, but cannot be fitt or safe 
to communicate the ordering of State Affairs be they of 
never soe meane Consequence." 

Had the policy thus outlined been consistently pursued, 
corporations would never again have been intrusted with 
powers of government. It is possible that proprietary grants 
might have been made; but the strictly logical outcome of 
the policy would have been a system of royal provinces. 
Virginia had now reached the form which best suited the 
purposes of the English executive. The king had thus early 
expressed his preference for that form, and all his successors, 
togfether with the officials who served them, expressed their 
1 Bymer, Foedera, XVHL ; Hazard, Hist. Colls. L 204. 


PART substantial agreement with him in that preference. But, as 
we know, the policy dictated by that view was far from 
being followed. And indeed it could not be followed, for 
individual initiative and resources were indispensable to the 
founding of colonies, while court favoritism accounts for the 
rest. Within four years after the Stuart monarch had pro- 
claimed his dislike of colonial corporations, he created one 
on the petition of men who, though relatively obscure, were 
his determined political opponents, and this was to have a 
more remarkable career than any similar body in that cen- 
tury. Three years later he gave away to one who had been 
a favorite minister a principality, and that almost without 
express condition. The same policy was followed on a much 
larger scale by his son during the twenty or more years 
which followed the Restoration. 

But underneath and behind these exhibitions of royal 
favor and proofs of court influence which followed one 
another in such long succession, appears the tendency which 
was set forth in the royal proclamation of May, 1625. It 
was the t^adpnp.y toward the mai ntenance of at nV.t ftyft^n, 
tivft nnntr ni nvAr fhft nnlnniAq, through officials of royal ap- 
pointment and directed by a policy which had primary, 
though not exclusive, reference to the interests of the mother 
country. It had first manifested itself in the relations be- 
tween James I. and Virginia. Its second manifestation arose 
from the desire of the English officials to correct the error 
which, when viewed from their standpoint, seemed to have 
been made by the ill-considered grant of Massachusetts. 

The consequences of that grant and of the use which had 
been made of it by the removal of the governing body of the 
Massachusetts company into the colony, were gradually re- 
vealed to the authorities in England. The territorial claims 
of the Gorges family and of John Mason had been infringed 
by the grant, though in its original form the patent had been 
issued by the New England council. The grant which had 
been made to Robert Gorges had been wholly included 
within its bounds, as was also a part of the territory called 
Mariana for which Mason had procured an indenture from 
the council. Years after Sir Ferdinando Gorges wrote in his 


Brief e Narratum ^ that, when the Earl of Warwick, who on CHAP, 
this, as on other occasions, acted as patron of the Puritans ^ ^^ 
of Massachusetts and Plymouth, requested his consent to the 
issue of the patent to Sir Henry Roswell and his associates, 
he gave it, "so far forth as it might not be prejudicial!" 
to the interests of his son, Robert Gorges. But, whatever 
may have been the cause, those interests were in no way 
regarded. In these conflicting territorial claims, as well as 
in the antagonism between Anglican and Puritan, loyalist 
and parliamentarian, originated the controversy between 
Massachusetts and the Gorges-Mason interests both in Eng- 
land and New England. Gorges had sufficient influence, 
though it was prudently exercised, to materially advance 
at court not only his own cause, but that of other com-* 
plainants than himself. Such complainants, some of them 
in fact malcontents, were not slow in appearing. 

In describing the earliest essays of the Massachusetts 
magistrates in the administration of criminal justice, reference 
was made to the cases of Thomas Morton and Philip Ratcliff. 
Both were sent back to England, the latter suffering a punish- 
ment of great severity in the colony. Ratcliff's offence was 
cuigry denunciation of the magistrates and church at Salem. 
Morton, though his sentence recited only certain trivial 
offences which he was charged with having committed tow- 
ard the Indians, was really banished because he was regarded 
as an incongruous element within the colony, one who woulc} 
never adapt himself to a Puritan environment. Previous to 
the arrival of Winthrop and his colonists, Morton had 
trafficked in firearms with the Indians, and had refused to 
submit to the rules of the company. Both he and the set- 
tlement with which he was connected had been disorderly. 

The case of Sir Christopher Gardiner, the third individual 
against whom the magistrates felt it necessary to protect 
themselves and the colony, was different. He was a widely ^ 

1 Baxter, Gorges, n. 61, 69. 

< Winthrop, Journal, I. 66, 68 ; Dudley's Letter to the Countess of Lin- 
coln, in Toung*s Chronicles of Massachusetts, 333; Bradford, History 
Plymouth Plantation, Edition of 1899, 862 ; Adams, Three Episodes of 
Maasachuaetts History, 261. 


PART travelled man of some culture, possibly also of high con- 
^' nection, certainly of loose morals, who appeared in Massa- 
chusetts in 1630, about a month before the arrival of Win- 
throp. He brought with him a servant or two, and a " comely 
yonge woman," whom he called his cousin, but who was 
thought to be his mistress. At first he seemed to intend a 
permanent residence in the colony, and even offered to join 
one of its churches. He built a dwelling of some kind, prob- 
ably on the Neponset, south of Boston, and may have lived 
there for a brief time. But presently information came that 
he already had two wives whom he had deserted in Europe, 
and both of whom, though for opposite reasons, were seek- 
ing to ascertain his whereabouts. Letters from both these 
women reached Governor Winthrop, and on the strength of 
the charges of bigamy, desertion, theft, and general ill living 
which they contained, the court at Boston ordered Gardiner's 
arrest and deportation to England by a ship which was about 
to sail. But he, hearing in advance of their intent, escaped 
alone into the forest, where, in the neighborhood of Taunton 
river, he wandered about for nearly a month, when he was 
captured by the Indians and brought to Plymouth. Thence 
he was taken back to Massachusetts. His companion, Mary 
Grove, had in the meantime been examined by the magis- 
trates, but little information of importance had been 
elicited from her. Though for a time after his return 
Gardiner was kept under close watch, there was no intention 
of treating him with severity. 

In June, 1631, a boat from Piscataqua brought, under 
cover to Winthrop, a package of letters addressed to Sir 
Christopher Gardiner. Acting as guardian of the community 
and following the practices of the times in the same way as 
Bradford had done in the case of Rev. John Lyford at Ply- 
mouth, Winthrop opened the letters. They were from Sir 
Ferdinando Gorges, and were addressed to Gardiner as his 
agent. A letter from Gorges to Morton was also in the 
package. By both these letters it appeared that Gorges 
" had some secret design to recover his pretended right " to 
the soil of Massachusetts. The errand on which Gardiner 
had come to New England was now revealed. He was the 


agent of Sir Ferdinando Gorges. It would therefore natu- cHAP. 
rally occur to the governor that to send such a person back ^ ^^ 
to England, would be playing into the hands of the enemies 
of Massachusetts. Probably for that reason he was treated 
with courtesy so long as he remained in the colony, and at 
his departure was ^^ dismissed in peace. " From Massachusetts 
he accompanied Mary Grove and Thomas Purchase, to whom 
she had recently been married, to their home near the modem 
Brunswick, Maine. There Gardiner remained for about a 
year and then returned to England. 

Morton, Ratcliff, and Gardiner were now in England, 
armed with complaints against Massachusetts, and ready to 
cooperate with Gorges and Mason in efforts to procure the 
recall of its charter. The severity of Massachusetts had 
sent two of them thither, and of the two Morton's representa- 
tions in particular were sure to enlist the support of the 
active members of the New England council. 

On December 19, 1632, Gardiner, Morton, and Ratcliff, 
supported by Gorges and Mason, petitioned^ the king in 
council. The petition has been lost, but we are told that it 
contained many charges against Massachusetts. The leaders 
of the colony were accused of having renounced allegiance to 
England and of an intention to rebel. It was affirmed that 
they had separated from both the laws and Church of Eng- 
land, and that the ministers and people continually railed 
against the government, church, and bishops of the mother 
country. We may also suppose that the harsh usage to which 
the petitioners had been subjected in the colony was referred 
to. The petition was evidently an indictment of the main 
features of Massachusetts policy, stated in harsh and exag- 
gerated terms and intended to convey the impression that the 
policy was wholly illegal, that it was leading to disorder and 
would end in rebellion. It was the first, but by no means the 
last, manifesto of this kind the influence of which upon the 
king and council Massachusetts was forced, if possible, to 
counteract. To do this proved to be easy in this case, though 
as time went on it came to be different. The difficulty arose 

1 Bradford, 366 ; Hutchinaon Papers, Prince Society, L 67 ; Winthrop, 
L 119, 122, 126, 127. 


PART from the fact that the charges against Massachusetts, though 
• J exaggerated, contained a considerable element of truth. It 
could with truth be stated that independency both in church 
and state, though in a somewhat disguised form, was the ideal 
of the leaders ; that, so far as they dared, and by all means 
in their power they would contend for this and defend it if 
ever it should be really attacked. 

The petition was followed by a hearing before a committee 
of the privy council. Emanuel Downing,^ a brother-in-law 
of Governor Winthrop, Captain Thomas Wiggin of Piscat- 
aqua, members of the company, and friends of Massachusetts, 
some of whom had recently returned from the colony, appeared 
in its defence, and for the time the efforts of Gorges and his 
associates were defeated. Most of the charges were denied, 
and others, it was found, could not be proven except by 
witnesses from the colony itself. A reply to the charges 
of the petitioners concerning the attitude of Massachusetts 
toward the English Church was prepared and sent by the 
governor and assistants, but it must have arrived too late to 
affect the decision. It was also found that various enter- 
prises which the adventurers had in hand, involving the 
despatch of colonists, food, and merchandise to America, 
would be defeated if the colony now fell under suspicion. For 
these reasons the council declared that, appearances being so 
fair and hopes so great, the adventurers might rest assured, if 
the terms of the charter and the purposes expressed at the 
time it was gpranted were fulfilled, the king would not 
only maintain their privileges but add what might further 
tend to the good government and prosperity of the colonists. 
The king was reported to have said that he would have those 
punished who abused the governor and plantation. So 

1 Letters from Downing to Secretary Coke, in the Coke Papers (12th 
Beport of the British Hist. Mss. Comm. App. Ft I. Vol. IL pp. 38, 64), show 
that he was not only defending Massachusetts against the territorial claim 
of Gorges, but against the charge that it would renounce its allegiance to Eng- 
land and engage in trade with foreigners. He suggested that their patent be 
enlarged a little to the north, where the best furs and timber were, and in 
the spirit with which he warned the government against the earliest encroach- 
ments of the Dutch on English trade anticipated the attitude of his son^ George 
Downing, a generation later. 


gratified were the authorities of Massachusetts when they CHAP, 
heard of the result, that Winthrop, through the governor of 
Plymouth, asked that colony to join in a day of thanks- 
giving for a merciful deliverance *^out of so desperate a 
danger/' ^ 

With the rejection of this petition Sir Christopher Gardiner 
disappears from view. Ratcliff at a later time gave testimony 
again before the council. Morton continued, however, to 
be an active and persistent foe of Massachusetts and aided 
its enemies in their plans whenever it was possible. As 
the period of personal government on which Charles I 
had entered progressed, it was accompanied with the more 
general and stringent execution of Laud's policy of repressing 
dissent. His appointment as archbishop in 1633, combined 
with the elevation of Neile to the see of York, made 
certain the triumph of that policy for the time being. 
The realization of this fact by the Puritans was followed 
by their emigration in large numbers to New England. 
The population of Massachusetts rapidly increased, and the 
colonies of Connecticut and New Haven were founded. 
English noblemen even began seriously to consider plans 
of removal. The repressive policy of the English govern- 
ment at home was rapidly making the New England experi- 
ment a success. 

All this very seriously affected the interests of Gorges 
and the New England council. The territory north of the 
fortieth degree of latitude, which they for nearly fifteen years 
had been vainly endeavoring to colonize, was being settled, 
but by colonists who to them were unwelcome. These 
colonists did not recognize the title of the council to the 
region in question, and its agents they supplanted or drove 
out. They had also proved too strong for Gorges before the 
privy council. But there, if anywhere, the battle must be 
won. Gorges, therefore, renewed his efforts in that quarter 
and this time with the assistance of Archbishop Laud. That 
primate had never before turned his attention to the colonies, 
but, becoming impressed with the fact that they might be a 
lef age for the Puritans, he was ready at once to extend his 

1 Bradford, 366. 


PART repressive measures thither also. The enforcement of con- 
^^' J formity, which he was already attempting in Scotland and 
Ireland, might be tried in the colonies as well. In connec- 
tion with the desire thus begotten in the mind of Laud, to 
suppress dissent even in those remote regions, the monarchi- 
cal idea of colonial administration appears again in the fore- 
ground. By utilizing these forces Gorges was able to win 
what for a time appeared to be a triumph over his foes. 

In February, 1634, in consequence of the reports that 
many persons were leaving the kingdom because of religious 
discontent, eleven ships bound for New England were 
stopped by order of the privy council. Before the end of 
the month, however, though not until the passengers had 
taken the oath of allegiance and promised to use the Book 
of Common Prayer in worship during the voyage, the ships 
were allowed to proceed.^ If Morton's statement in his 
letter to Jeffery ^ is true, an inquiry into the origin and 
provisions of the Massachusetts charter was soon after held 
before the privy council, Sir Richard Saltonstall and other 
patentees being present, and Morton and Ratcliff perhaps 
testifying again against the colony. The patent, it is said, 
was solemnly declared to be void, and the king took the 
matter into his own hands. 

On April 28, 1634, as partly a result, we may suppose, 
^ of this opinion, a royal commission ^ was issued appointing 
Archbishop Laud and eleven other privy councillors as a 
board of commissioners for trade and plantations. Among 
the members who were associated with the archbishop were 
Lord Keeper Coventry, the archbishop of York, the lord treas- 
urer, the Earl of Portland, the Earl of Manchester, who was 
lord privy seal. Earl Arundel, who was the marshal of Eng- 
land, with the Earl of Dorset and Lord Cottington, who held 
the other chief offices in the royal household, John Coke and 

1 Colonial Papers, Feb. 4, 1634 ; Palfrey, I. 371 n.; Hazard, Hist. Colls. 
L 341. In Ya. Mag. of Hist. IX. 271, is a statement by the customer of 
London which shows what the administrative practice of the officials of the 
Treasury at this period was in regard to granting passes to persons leaving the 
kingdom and requiring from them the oaths of allegiance and supremacy. 

« Winthrop, II, 233. 

• Hazard, Hist. Colls. L 344 ; Hutchinson, Hist, of Mass. I. App. 440. 


Francis Windebank, who were secretaries of state. It thus CHAP. 

• III 

appears that many of the leading ministers of the king had 

seats upon this board. It consisted wholly of privy council- 
lors. Very large powers were intrusted to the new board of 
commissioners, and, though relations with New England were 
the immediate occasion of its appointment, its powers were 
to be exercised over all the colonies alike. They were to 
have " power of protection and government " over all exist- 
ing and prospective colonies; to make, with the royal assent, 
^^laws, ordinances, and constitutions'' both concerning the 
public affairs of the colonies, as about the interests and 
tes of individuals therein. They were to secure mainten- 
ance for the colonial clergy by tithes and oblations, distribute 
the same and regulate ^^all other matters ecclesiastical." 
They were given power to punish offenders even with death. 
They might also examine into the conduct of governors, call 
them to account for violation of ordinances, depose and other- 
wise punish them. They were to establish and regulate 
courts and appoint magistrates. They were to act as a court 
of appeal and bring before themselves in England any gov- 
ernor or officer who should usurp another's authority, wrong 
another, fail to suppress rebels or to obey the king's com- 
mands. Through them letters patent were to be issued for 
the founding of new colonies, and orders to do all other 
things which should be necessary for the government and 
protection of the colonies. In 1638 and 1639 we find a sub- 
committee associated with this board, but this was probably 
a group of experts temporarily brought together to advise 
concerning Virginia affairs and matters of revenue.^ 

On February 21, 1634, more than two months before 
the appointment of this commission, the privy council had 
ordered Mr. Cradock, then before the board, to have the 
royal charter of Massachusetts produced.^ This command 
Cradock transmitted to New England. When the letter 
arrived, Winthrop, whose popularity had temporarily waned, 
had been succeeded by Dudley in the governorship. The 

1 Col. Papers, 1674-1660, 281 et seq., 301 ; Va. Mag. of Hist., X, 428 ; XI, 
178, 285 ; XII, 394. 

s Hazard, I. 841 ; Winthrop, 1, 161, 163. 



I PART message, which was regarded as unofficial, was submitted to 

I V ' J the assistants in July, who after long consideration adopted 

the policy of delay and evasion, a course which the colony 
was to pursue in similar relations with the crown throughout 
the future. In reply to Cradock, it was stated that it would 
be impossible to send the charter without the consent of the 
general court, a session of which would be held in the 
following September. Edward Winslow of Plymouth was 
about to sail for England and to him this reply was intrusted. 
Winslow went as agent ^ for his colony, and incidentally 
to serve the larger cause of Massachusetts, thus helping to 
bring the important institution of the colonial agency clearly 
into existence. His chief errands on behalf of Plymouth 
were to explain to Lord Say and his partners the share which 
/Plymouth men had had in the death of Hocking near their 
/ trading post on the Kennebec river, and to procure the aid 
of the home government in restraint of the operations of the 
Dutch on the Connecticut river, and of the French on the 
northeast, they having recently destroyed the trading post 
which Plymouth had established on the Penobscot river. 
Either diplomatic interposition by the English government 
concerning these matters was desired, or special authority 
which should legalize any combined effort that the New 
England colonies might make to defend themselves against 
all foreign enemies. An errand like this the Massachusetts 
authorities would never have undertaken or approved, and 
the fact that Plymouth should undertake it shows how 
much more conciliatory and submissive was its attitude tow- 
ard the home government than was that of Massachusetts. 
Though Winslow performed the duties of his mission with 
ability, he played into the hands of those who were laboring 
to destroy Puritan independence in New England and him- 
self temporarily suffered in consequence. 

When he arrived in England and began prosecuting his 
errand before the plantation board Winslow, though at first 
succeeding well, soon found himself opposed by the Gorges 
and Mason influence and by the archbishop of Canterbury.^ 
The plan that, upon the recall of the Massachusetts charter, 

1 Bradford, 384, 389 et $eq. > Bradford, 391. 


Gorges should be appointed governor of New England, was CHAP, 
already formed, and Winslow's suggestion that the existing 
colonies should be empowered to resist the Dutch and French 
at their own expense was inconsistent with the scheme of 
Gorges, as well as with that of Laud to enforce uniform- 
ity in the colonies. Thereupon, when Winslow seemed on 
the point of succeeding, Morton was procured to enter 
further complaints against the New Englanders. After 
Winslow had replied to him, the archbishop began to ask 
questions — some of which were suggested by Morton's 
statements — about the extent to which the canons of the 
Church were violated in Plymouth. Winslow confessed 
that occasionally, when they lacked a pastor, he, though a 
layman, had officiated publicly in church. He also admitted 
that when they were without a minister, he had performed 
the marriage ceremony, and went even so far as to defend 
civil marriage before their lordships as not inconsistent with 
Scripture. ^^ For these things," says Bradford in his account 
of the episode, " ye bishop, by vemente importunity, gott ye 
bord at last to consente to his committemente ; so he was 
comited to ye Fleete, and lay there 17 weeks, or ther aboute, 
before he could gett to be released. And this was ye end 
of this petition, and this business.*' The last statement 
of the Plymouth historian is not quite true, for from his 
prison Winslow addressed a petition to the privy council, in 
which^ while again admitting the truth of what he had pre- 
viously stated about his own conduct, he justified it as neces- 
sary, and defended the Plymouth people against the charge 
of being factious, while he exposed the bad character of 
Morton and of the other assailants of Massachusetts.^ 

Meantime, within the New England council, and beginning 
as early as February, 1634, preparations^ were in progress 
for the surrender of its charter, so that the way might be 
cleared for the appointment of a governor general of New 
England. On February 8, a meeting of the council at Lord 

^ This petition is wrongly entered in the Calendar of State Papers under 
November, 1032 ; Winthrop, I. 206. 

> Recorda of the Council for New England, in Proceedings of Am. Antiq. 
Soc. 1867, p. 114 et $eq. 

TOL. lU — » 


PART Gorges' house, which was attended both by Sir Ferdinando 
and by Captain John Mason, agreed upon a redivision of the 
sea coast from the fortieth degree of latitude to Nova Scotia. 
This was substantially a repetition of the attempted division 
by lot which occurred at Greenwich in 1623, but which had 
never been confirmed or carried into execution. The terri- 
tory was now divided into eight sections and distributed 
among the members of the council. Mason receiving New 
Hampshire and the section between Naumkeag and the 
Merrimac river. Gorges receiving the region which was 
soon to be known as the province of Maine. Deeds of feoff- 
ment were made out for the proprietors of the several 

A formal surrender of the charter of the New England 
council to the king was drawn on April 28, though it was 
not executed until the 7th of June. In this the failure of 
its enterprise thus far was acknowledged, and the cause was 
found in the alleged surreptitious^ grant to Massachusetts 
and its confirmation by the king which was obtained with- 
out the knowledge of the council. " By which means they," 
the document continued, ^^made themselves a free People, 
. . . whereby they did rend in pieces ye first foundation of the 
building, and so framed into themselves both new laws and 
new consceipts of Religion and forms of ecclesiasticall and 
temporall Orders and Government, punishing divers that 
would not approve thereof, some by whipping, others by 
burning their houses over their heads, and some by banishing 
and the like." The complaints which arose from these events 
the council had been called upon to redress. It had referred 
the petitions to the king. Its members had been called be- 
fore the privy council, but there had disclaimed all share in 
the evils. They had then referred the whole matter to the 
king and his ministers, and of their resolve to take it fully 
into their hands this surrender of the charter was the first 
and natural result. 

The surrender of the charter was duly accepted by the 
king, and he announced his resolve to appoint Sir Ferdi- 
nando Gorges governor general of New England, and to give 
^ Records of the Coancll for New England, ibid, 124. 


him adequate royal support. One of the provinces should CHAP, 
be allotted to him for his maintenance, while provision was y ^ 

made for the succession of his office. These steps having 
been taken, the king was petitioned to order the attorney 
general to prepare patents for the eight lords among whom 
the territory had been divided by lot, that thereby fully ^^l*^^^^"^^ 
organized proprietary provinces might be formed within 
the governor generalship. On May 6, 1635, Thomas Morton 
received an appointment from the council as solicitor for the 
confirmation of the deeds under the great seal, as also to 
prosecute a suit at law for the repeal of the Massachusetts 
patent. But the confirmation of the deeds was evidently 
beset with delays, for, on November 26, an order was issued 
that the passing of the patents should be expedited with all 
conveniency. The decisive steps, however, which would 
make them effective patents seem never to have been taken. 
While the events which have now been outlined were oc- 
curring in England, Massachusetts showed the spirit in which 
she intended to meet the attack. The general court, during 
the session of September, 1634,^ instead of considering the 
order for the return of the charter, took the first decisive 
steps toward creating a system of defence within the colony. -^ 
Authority was bestowed on the assistants to impress labor- 
ers for public works. Defences on Castle island and at 
Oharlestown and Dorchester were ordered to be built, and 
a committee was appointed to take charge of them. A com- 
mittee was also appointed to provide ammunition, and 
another to take general charge of any war which might 
occur within a year. Arms were to be distributed and train- 
ings held. With equal zeal the court legislated against new 
and extravagant fashions in dress, an enactment which to 
the Puritan mind fitly accompanied strenuous preparations 
for defence. In the November which followed this im- 
portant session of the general court, John Endicott at Salem 
vented his feelings on the situation by cutting the cross 
from the English colors. This act savored more of sedition 
than any event which had yet occurred, and the magistrates 
feared that such an interpretation would be put upon it in 

^ Col. BeoB. 1. 123 et «eg. 


PART England ; ^ but some delay ensued before he was punished 
by exclusion from oflBce for one year. So strong, however, 
did the feeling against the colors seem to be that all the 
ensigns were ordered to be laid aside. 

In January, 1635,^ the governor and assistants submitted 
to the ministers the question, what should be done if a gen- 
eral governor should be sent from England; and the unani- 
mous reply was that, if one were sent, he ought not to be 
received, but the colony, if able, should defend its lawful 
possessions. Later a beacon was ordered to be set on Sentry 
Hill in Boston, while on a day early in April a false alarm 
of the approach of two ships quickly brought together the 
train bands of Boston and the adjacent towns. In this 
state of preparedness the colony awaited events in Eng- 

Gorges, on the other hand, was striving to secure means to 
take him to New England. It was his expedition, if any, 
which the outlook on Beacon Hill would some day see ap- 
proaching. But it never came. The English government 
was busy with ship money and other devices for supplying 
the exchequer independently of appropriations by parliament. 
It had neither money nor soldiers with which to support 
Gorges' enterprise. The archbishop could fulminate de- 
crees and imprison luckless New England Puritans, if they 
came within the realm; but more, it was proved, he was 
unable to do. Gorges soon found that the elements of his 
problem were much the same now as they had ever been. 
He could command only his own resources, and they were 
painfully inadequate. Never very great, they had been seri- 
ously reduced by his previous experiments in colonization. 
An effort was made to fit out a single vessel to bear the 
governor general across the sea, but that utterly failed. 
Thus Gorges' direct share in the great scheme of reducing 
New England to the condition of a royal province ended in 
complete failure. Like all his plans, it was large in concep- 
tion but feeble in execution. In the light of these facts, the 
military preparations of Massachusetts do not appear so ab- 
surdly inadequate as they would if they had been directed 

1 Winthrop, 1. 179, 186, 188. « Ibid. 183. 


against a great European power which was in a condition CHAP, 
to strike the little colony. 

But this was not the end of the episode. The plan of 
Gorges and of the officials who were supporting him in- 
volved the revocation of the Massachusetts charter. Only 
by this step could the way be legally cleared for the estab- 
lishment of the royal province. Thomas Morton had been 
retained to aid in prosecuting this suit. It was begun in 
June, 1635, by the attorney general filing before the King's 
Bench an information in the nature of a writ of quo warranto ..^ 
against the Massachusetts company. The charge was that ^ 

their charter was void ab initio and therefore that the com- 
pany should be dissolved. As this case, especially when 
compared with that of the Virginia Company, illustrates 
very clearly the way in which the removal of a corporation 
across the sea affected the exercise of judicial control over 
it, it deserves somewhat extended notice. 

The information^ filed by the attorney general in this 
instance was directed not against the corporation itself, but 
against its members, whether resident in England or New 
England. It cited the main provisions of the charter, and 
declared that the said franchises and liberties had been 
usurped in contempt of his majesty the king. At this 
point appeared the significance, from the standpoint of judi- 
cial control, of the removal of the Massachusetts company 
into New England. The writ issued in pursuance of the 
information was not served upon the officers and members 
of the corporation who were resident in New England, and 
probably could not have been served and a return secured 
within the specified legal time. The information was filed 
in Trinity Term of 1635 (11 Charles I) and the trial was 
held in Michaelmas Term of the same year. At the trial, 
which was before the King's Bench, fourteen members of the 
company appeared and pleaded that they had not usurped 
any of the said liberties and did not claim them.^ There- 

1 Pabllcations of the Prince Society, Hatchinson Papers, L 114. 

> 4 Mass. Hist. Colls. VL 6S. A statement in a letter from Emanuel 
Downing to Rev. Hugh Peters throws light on this transaction. Writing, in 
1640 from Salem, of the quo warranto he said, **mo6t of them that ap- 


PART upon in each case it was decreed by the court that the indi- 
^^' . vidual concerned " shall not for the future intermeddle with 
any of the liberties, privileges or franchises aforesaid, but 
shall be forever excluded from all use and claime of the 
same and every of them." ^ Matthew Cradock made default 
and was convicted of the usurpation charged. It was de- 
creed that the liberties, so far as Cradock possessed them, 
should be seized into the king's hands, that he should be 
excluded from the further use of them and should be held 
to answer for the usurpation. The record closed with the 
statement that 'Hhe rest of the patentees stood outlawed 
and noe judgment entered up against them." 

The effect of this action on the part of King's Bench seems 
to have been to exclude from the company such of its mem- 
bers as were accessible and appeared, while the corporation 
itself remained intact. The governing body of the company 
defaulted through non-appearance, and the record states that 
they stood outlawed. But it also states that no judgment was 
entered up against them. We have no record that steps were 
taken to complete the process of outlawry, which would have 
required the issue of several additional writs, and those di- 
rected toward the execution of a judgment already pronounced 
and recorded.2 Had it not been for the legal difficulty con- 
nected with the service of the writ, it is altogether probable that 
the Massachusetts company would have shared the fate of the 
Virginia company, and the way would then have been cleared 
for the governor generalship of Gorges, as soon as the New 
England council surrendered its charter. As it was, on three' 
occasions between the summer of 1631 and the spring of 1639, 
authoritative information came to Massachusetts from the 

peared I did advise to disclayme, which they might safely doe, being not 
sworne Magistrats to governe according to the patent ; and those Magistrats 
which doe governe among us being the only parties to the patent were never 
summoned to appear. Therefore if there be a Judgement given agauist the 
patent, its false and erroneous and ought to be reversed with a motion in 
King's Bench. ..." 

^ The fact that this was the decree in the cases of Sir Henry Roswell and 
Sir John Young is not expressly stated ; but there is no reason for supposing 
that they received different treatment from the others. 

3 Kyd, On Corporations. * Winthrop, I. 269, 323, 369. 


commissioners of foreign plantations in England, that the CHAP, 
magistrates and others had no legal right to govern the col- 
ony, that a judgment had passed against the charter and that it 
should be sent home. To one of these messages a reply was 
sent excusing themselves for not transmitting the charter lest 
it might be interpreted as its surrender. Of the last peremp- 
tory demand no notice was taken. That the government, 
had the corporation been resident in England, would have 
allowed itself to be balked in this way is hardly credible, 
even though it were at the time on the eve of a civil war. 
But the corporation stood, and, when the Restoration came, 
was treated as in full legal existence. 

The attitude which Massachusetts maintained toward the 
obligations of allegiance and the degree of its isolation as a 
colony are illustrated by a discussion in 1636 concerning the 
necessity of flying the English colors on the fort at Castle 
island.^ A mate on an English ship had charged them with 
being rebels because they did not keep the king's flag flying 
on the fort. The controversy which followed revealed the fact 
that there was no English flag in the colony. The seamen 
offered them one. But the magistrates scrupled to receive it, 
because " we were fully persuaded that the cross in the ensign 
was idolatrous." But after consulting Cotton and others, it 
was decided that, as the fort was the king's and maintained 
in his name, ^^his own colors might be spread there." And 
it was done, though some of the magistrates, Winthrop 
among them, did not approve and would not join in the act. 

1 Winthrop, L 223-226. 



PART As has already been stated, the transition from a chartered 
• ^ colony to a royal province involved in every case the sub- 
stitution of royal officials for those of the proprietor, or for 
those who had been elected by the freemen of the colony. 
In other words, a royal executive took the place of an ex- 
ecutive which consisted of the king's grantee and of the 
officials whom that grantee had either appointed or elected. 
The province thenceforth stood in immediate, instead of 
mediate, relation to the crown. The territory within its 
bounds, so far as it had not already been granted to private 
parties, became again a part of the royal domain. Private 
rights, as they existed in the colony, were so guarantied 
that they were not diminished as the result of the transition. 
But the affairs of the province came in part to be managed 
by officials and servants of the king in England, while the 
administrative officers who resided in the province were 
royal appointees. 

We are now concerned with the very beginnings of Eng- 
lish colonial administration, as applied to the province of 
Virginia. The forms and precedents by which it was in 
future to be guided were then in the initial stages of their 
development. And yet under the early Stuarts the official 
connection between Virginia and England was in some re- 
spects more intimate than at any later period, or than they 
were in the case of any other royal province. Communica- 
tions were regularly sent back and forth, filled with details, 
not only about official doings, but about the tobacco industry 
and other phases of social life. Instructions to the early 
governors abounded in requirements which of course would 
apply only to Virginia. In details of this kind the home 

government took more direct interest than at later times. 



As colonies multiplied and their diverse interests demanded CHAP, 
consideration, control became generalized and details were 
left to be worked out more by merchants, planters, and local 
officials. Virginia then fell into its place among the rest. 
At the time of which we are speaking agents, as we shall see, 
were occasionally sent from Virginia to England. The acts 
of its assembly were sent to the privy council for its allow- 
ance.^ A few instances appear of civil suits in Virginia 
being heard in England, and of colonial cases coming at this 
period before the court of the lord high admiral in England;^ 
but suits of the latter class concerned other colonies even 
more than Virginia.' 

Some of the earliest utterances of the crown upon the sub- 
ject of government in Virginia indicated a purpose to revive 
the system of 1606, retaining the patentees and leaving rights 
of trade in their hands, but revoking all rights of govern- 
ment.^ But the leaders of the majority in the old company 
were unable to reconcile themselves to anything but its res- 
toration, with all the powers which it possessed under the 
charters of 1609^ and 1612. This the colonists would at 
the time have preferred, for the recent administration of the 
province, on the whole, had been satisfactory to them. But 
the government, if it had ever intended to retain the pat- 
entees, soon abandoned such thought, and, in the famous 
proclamation of 1625, seemed to commit itself to the royal 
province as a form of organization. 

In the case of Virginia the process of establishing royal 
government began before the judges had declared the 
charter of the company to be null and void. On July 5, 
1624, under an act of council of the previous month, the king 

1 Randolph Mas., Va. Hist Soc fol. 219, March, 1631. 

> A suit between Bfartin and Bargrave over the poesession of cattle was 
pending In Chancery in 1025. Va. liCag. of Hist. VIL 132. There was also 
a suit orerPoontis's estate, bat it was probably not prosecated in England. 
Ibid. 184. 

* Admiralty Court, Instance and Prize, Libel Files. 

* See Discooise of the Old Company, Va. Mag. of Hist. L 904 e( $eq. 

* See order in council of Jane 24, 1624, Calendar of Colonial Papers under 
that date : " His Majesty being resolved to renew a charter, with former 
privileges and amendment of former imperfections.*' Sir F. Nethersole in a 
letter to Carieton, July 3, 1624 (Colonial Papers) states the fact more directly. 


PART appointed a large commission,^ with Viscount Mande ville, Lord 
^' , President of the Council at its head, to regulate the affairs of 
Virginia and give orders for its government. The com- 
mission consisted of ministers of state, the law officers of the 
crown, knights, clergymen, and merchants. It contained 
many who had been members of the company, but they were 
selected largely from the party of Smith and Johnson. 
Though its powers were large, it can hardly be considered as 
a predecessor of the later boards of trade and plantations, 
because its work was expressly confined to one colony. It 
rather involved a return to the arrangement of 1606. Au- 
thority was given the commission to take charge of the public 
property of the Virginia company and colony and to exercise 
the powers which had been conveyed to the company by royal 
charter. For these purposes it might consult both adventurers 
and planters. It was closely connected with the privy coun- 
cil, and was to act under instructions from that body and 
the king. The meetings of this commission were held weekly 
at the house of Sir Thomas Smith. There they made use 
of the records of the company, heard testimony concerning 
the condition and needs of Virginia, received applications 
from those who were going or sending thither, and consid- 
ered what policy it was best to pursue. Wyatt was temporarily 
continued in his office as governor, and with him was associ- 
ated a council consisting of Yeardley, Francis West, George 
Sandys, Ralph Hamor, Mathews, Peirsy, Claiborne, and 

The members of the old company were consulted concern- 
ing the best form of government for the province, and re- 
turned the reply to which reference has already been made. 
They took a pessimistic view of the situation and belittled 
the work of all except the Sandys-Southampton party. They 
insisted that the system which had just been brought to an 
end by the qtio warranto was the only true one. They re- 
ferred to one discouraging result which the establishment of 

1 Va. Mag. of Hist. VH. 40 ; Colonial Papers, July, 1624 ; NelU, Vir- 
ginia Carolomm, 11. 

' See proclamation, Rymer, XVn. 611. The substance of the commission 
is in Va. Mag. of Hist YIL 129. 


royal government was sure to have on Virginia. Large sums CHAP, 
had been expended by the company in aiding emigration to 
the province, in promoting industry there, in furnishing 
supplies and relieving distress. If the English government 
intended to continue this policy and to meet out of public 
revenues the expense which it entailed, it was most proper, 
said the writers ^ of the memorial, that the province should 
be administered through a royal council. But if, when 
royal government was established, all aid was withdrawn; 
if assistance to emigration ceased, and the plantation was 
left to support itself, both planters and adventurers would 
be discouraged, and many would abandon the enterprise. 
Though the temporary discouragement did not result so 
disastrously as the memorialists predicted, the substitution of 
government by the crown for government by the company 
threw the colonists more on their own resources. 

At first the colonists, as well as the former adventurers, 
feared that they might suffer both in bodies and estates from 
the establishment of royal government. In July, 1624,^ the 
governor, council, and assembly sent by John Pountis, their 
agent, and vice admiral of Virginia, a petition to the king, en- 
treating that credit might not be given to the malicious impu- 
tations which had been circulated against the late government, 
or the statements believed that the condition of Virginia under 
the administration of Sir Thomas Smith had been a happy 
one. In order to show that the opposite was true they pre- 
sented an elaborate statement contrasting the oppressiveness 
of the government under Smith, and the sufferings of the 
colony at that time, with the liberality of the regime that 
followed and the progress which the colony had then made. 
Its prosperity, however, had been cut short by the massacre, 
which had ^^ almost defaced the beauty of the whole colony," 
and prevented the continuance of ^Hhose excellent works 
wherein they had made so fair a beginning." Famine had 
followed for a year, but severe blows had been inflicted on 
the savages, and it was hoped that they would be driven 

1 Va. ICag. of HlEit L 804. 

* Colonial Papers, July, 1024, June 16 (?), 1626 ; Hening, SUtates of yi^ 
ginia,L 128. 


PART from the lower parts of the colony. The chief objects of 
' J the petition were to pray the king not to deliver the prov- 
ince over again to Sir Thomas Smith and his associates, and 
to grant to Virginia and the Somers islands the monopoly 
of the importation of tobacco, ^^ not as an end to affect that 
contemptible weed, but as a present means to set up staple 

Five months later ^ the governor and council were able to 
report that in a two days* battle a great victory had been 
won over the Pamunkeys and their confederates. Many of 
the Indians were slain and sufficient corn destroyed to keep 
four hundred men for a twelvemonth, and that with small 
loss to the English. The health of the colonists was good ; 
a plentiful harvest of corn had been gathered. In view of 
these facts it was possible for them to state, though probably 
with exaggeration, that the colony had ^^ worn out the scars 
of the massacre." 

That their confidence was somewhat premature is indi- 
cated by a petition from the same source, which is supposed 
to have been sent the following June.* Acting on the sup- 
position that, because of the death of Mr. Pountis, the pre- 
vious petition had not been delivered, the governor, council, 
and assembly again express a fear that they are to be de- 
livered into the hands of Sir Thomas Smith. Their fears 
on this subject had been aroused by the information that 
the persons of whom they had so justly complained had 
been appointed members of the commission for regulating 
the affairs of the colony. The colonists had come through 
the winter with scanty supplies, and, because of what seemed 
to be the desperate state of the colony, some of the planters 
had resolved to return to England and petition for redress 
and protection. Lest the clamors of so many should be 
troublesome. Sir George Yeardley had been selected by the 
governor, council, and assembly to present their grievances, 
and a favorable hearing for him was solicited. 

Yeardley, who was now returning as agent from Virginia, 
asked for a hearing before the privy council in October, 

1 Colonial Papers, December 2, 1624. * Ibid, June 6 (?), 1626. 


1625.^ He referred to the distress which existed in the CHAP. 


colony because of lack of supplies, and to the discourage- 
ment which had been caused by the uncertainty as to the 
government. A supply of munitions, apparel, tools, and 
other commodities was what they first needed, and these 
should be sent at once. With this petition appears the 
earliest demand on the part of American colonists that the 
king should send troops to their relief. The former petition 
concerning tobacco was repeated, and in addition general 
freedom of trade was insisted upon and also the necessity of 
exempting staple commodities for a time from the collection 
of duties on their importation into England. The state of 
political feeling among the colonists was indicated by the 
request not only that those against whom they had com- 
plained should have no share in the government, but that by 
a new patent, confirmed by parliament, the possession of their 
estates should be guarantied to the colonists; also that the 
continuance of free general assemblies should be assured, and 
that the people should have a voice in the election of their 

In April and May * of the following year, additional com- 
munications were sent to England by the Virginia magistrates, 
repeating their requests concerning the tobacco trade, and 
stating that, if the plans for defence which were under dis- 
cussion were executed, four hundred men must be sent to 
the colony with engineers and full equipment and supplies. 
The plan included the building of a palisade for a. distance 
of six miles, between Martin's Hundred and Kiskiack, fur- 
nished at intervals with blockhouses. This, it was hoped, 
would secure from Indian attack a tract of 300,000 acres, 
where the principal settlements in the province lay, and thus 
insure its peaceful economic growth. For the construction 
of the palisade and guard houses X1200 in ready money 
would be needed, and their maintenance would cost XlOO a 
year. Forts and fortified towns must also be built and garri- 
soned, while the offensive war should be continued against 

1 Colonial Papers, 1674-1660, 76. 

* Ibid, The Important Letter of May 17, 1626, Is printed in full in Va. 
Mag. of Hist. n. 60. 


PART the Indians. , Discovery on a large scale toward the South 
• y Sea should also be undertaken, and emigration encouraged 
to fill up the country. A public magazine should be main- 
tained, which adventurers would probably be found ready to 
furnish at twenty-five per cent profit, accepting tobacco in 
payment at 3«. per pound. " But the ground work of all," 
wrote Wyatt and his associates, " is that their bee a sufficient 
publique stock to goe through with soe greate a work, which 
wee cannot compute to bee lesse then £20,000 a yeare, 
certaine for some yeares; for by itt must bee maintained the 
Governer and counsell and other officers here, the forrest 
wonne and stockt with cattle, fortifications raysed, a running 
armye mainetayned, discoveries made by Sea and land, and 
all other things requisitt in soe mainefould a business." For 
a considerable part of this the governor and council looked 
to the home government. 

Large plans of this nature might have appealed to Sandys, 
and under his leadership, if unopposed, there might have 
been some prospect of their realization. But to the govern- 
ment of Charles I, which was not only inherently weak but 
paralyzed by a conflict with parliament and consequent lack 
of supplies at home, it was useless to suggest such measures 
as this. At Whitehall they fell on deaf ears. Whether or 
not Sir George Yeardley secured a hearing before the council 
in the fall of 1625, what discussion went on, and what was 
its result, we are not informed. But that any concession 
was made which involved expenditure or special sacrifice on 
the part of the home government is not probable. Yeardley 
received an appointment as governor, and a royal command 
was issued that judgments, decrees, and important acts 
should be determined by the governor with the majority of 
the council, and all done in the name of the king. The 
proclamation of May 13, 1625, declared that the government 
of Virginia should be administered through two councils, 
one resident in England, and the other in the province, and 
that both should depend immediately on the king. This 
system continued as long as the commission of 1624 was in 
existence, and was renewed in June, 1631, by the appointment 
of a commission of which the lord chamberlain, the Earl of 


Dorset, was the first member. Associated with him was CHAP, 
a distinguished array of officials, merchants, and former ^ 
members of the company, in rank much like those who made 
up the commission of 1624.^ It recommended the reestablish- 
ment of the company and the issue of a new charter. This 
should provide for a president and council who as the appoint- 
ees of the king should administer from England the govern- 
ment of the colony. The resident governor and council in 
Virginia should likewise be royal appointees. All other 
rights and privileges pertaining to the enterprise, except 
those of government, should be again intrusted to the 
patentees. This was clearly a plan for a revival of the 
system of 1606. But it appears to have met with no favor. 
A memorial was presented in opposition to the reestablish- 
ment of the company in any form; and it is difficult to see 
how the proposal of the commissioners could have satisfied 
the majority of the old patentees. Not only was it dropped, 
but the commission itself soon disappeared from view. This 
was the end of projects for the administration of Virginia 
alone, and the next experiment — that of the commissioners 
of 1634, which has already been described — was directed 
toward the control of the affairs of the colonies as a whole. 
So far as its internal affairs were concerned, Virginia 
passed through the transition from proprietary to royal 
government without any violent or sweeping change. The 
policy of the company, together with the Indian massacre, 
had previously removed much that was peculiar in the land 
system of the province. With the development of counties 
the plantation as a form of grant disappeared. The ordinary 
system of patents to individuals, subject to a quit rent of 
2s. per hundred acres, which had been established by the 
company, was continued.^ These were made partly in 
recognition of personal adventures and partly as head 

1 Va. Mag. of Hist. Vm. 29, 33-46, 149. 

3 See Virginia Land Patents, Vol 1. 1623-1643, in office of Register of the 
Land Office, Richmond. For the purposes of the genealogist these are 
abstracted in Ya. Mag. of Hist. II. et $eq. Grants for the royal period from 
the records of several of the counties are abstracted in William and Mary 
College Quarterly, IX., X., XI., and XII. In the instructions to the goyemors 
appear orders in reference to the granting of land. Much detailed informar 


PART rights. In many of the early grants under the crown 
^ express reference was made to the plans and authority of 
the company as confirmed by royal patents issued to the 
governor and council. Grants continued to be made as 
parts of first dividends, to be increased when the grantee, 
his heii*s or assigns, had properly settled the land. Tracts 
of land belonging to the company continued for a time to 
exist in Accomac, Elizabeth City, and possibly elsewhere, 
and these were subject to lease. The forms used in making 
grants and the officials concerned were much the same as 
those of the later period of the company. As county gov- 
ernment developed, applications for land were made before 
the county justices, and the clerk made a certificate of the 
amount which the applicant claimed or to which he was en- 
titled. This was sent to the office of the secretary of the 
province, whence a warrant was issued for the survey. On 
the basis of the return of the surveyor the patent was made 
out and issued in the name of the king and under the im- 
mediate authority of the governor and council. As a rule, 
grants were required to be settled within three years, or 
they lapsed. From the earliest times details relating to 
the granting, bounding, fencing, and settlement of land 
were specified by legislation,^ but the authority to grant it 
was always vested in the governor and council. Grants of 
moderate size were the rule, the great majority of them 
being limited to a few scores or hundreds of acres, and 
only in a small minority of instances did they exceed one 
thousand.^ Large plantations were, as a rule, acquired by 
accumulations and purchases of head rights, by inheritance 
and transfers of estates, the process of enlargement being 
steadily favored by the economic system of the province. 
Prior to 1630 settlement in Virginia had been confined to 

tion about the land system of Virginia, as about all other matters connected 
with local institutions and life, is to be found in the county records ; but 
they have not yet been used in any very systematic or profitable way. 

^ Much more was this true in early Virginia than in the early history of 

< This appears from the lists, especially those already referred to as given 
in the W. & M. Coll. Quarterly. 


Accomac peninsula and the valley of the James.^ By 1634 CHAP, 
that region had been divided into counties, the original eight 
being James City, Henrico, Charles City, Elizabeth City, 
Warwick, Isle of Wight, Charles River (later York), and 
Accomac (later Northampton). These were the outgrowth 
of local settlements (some of them for a time called ^^cor- 
porations ") ^ which had their origin under the company. In 
1630 the first settlements were made on the south side of 
York river, at Kiskiack and York. The quarrel between 
the Maryland government and Claiborne occasioned, a few 
years later, the removal of a part of the inhabitants of Kent 
island to the neck between the Potomac and the Rappahan- 
nock rivers, which in 1648 became Northumberland county. 
An Indian war in 1647 for a time checked migration into 
that region, but by 1651 enough settlers had come thither 
to justify the formation of Gloucester and Lancaster coun- 
ties. Out of the western part of Northumberland county 
Westmoreland was formed in 1653. Three years later the 
upper part of Lancaster was set off as Rappahannock 
county. In 1654 the upper part of York became New 
Kent.^ Meantime, on the south side of the James, Upper 
and Lower Norfolk counties and Surry were organized, 
the name of Upper Norfolk being changed to Nansemond 
in 1646.* 

Whether in every case authority for the organization of 
counties was given by act of the grand assembly, is not 
quite certain. But, at any rate, the assembly at an early 
date began the creation of these subdivisions by its own 
acts and continued this course regularly thereafter.^ As 
in other colonies, the fixing of the bounds of the county 
and the establishment of its court, with legislation con- 
cerning the jurisdiction of this body, were the important ad- 
ministrative acts connected with the founding of a county. 
Provision for these matters appears at large among the Vir- 

1 W. and M. Coll. Quarterly, IV. 28. 

* See Vol. I. of this work. Henlug, L 224. 

• Hening, I, 374, 381, 388, 427. 

* IHd. 247, 321, 373. 

• Ibid. L 224, 247, 249, 260, 362, etc. 

TOL. HI — G 


PART ginia statutes, even from the earliest dates. In the year of 
V • y the dissolution of the company the grand assembly defined 
the jurisdiction of the monthly courts in Charles City and 
Elizabeth City counties.^ Thus the extension of the county 
system kept pace with the expansion of settlement, and in 
it all the assembly bore a share which, as a rule, was scarcely 
equalled in the early history of the proprietary provinces. 
The counties in turn, with a few exceptions, became the 
units of representation in the assembly. 

The establishment of parishes, organized after the English 
model and a mark of the exclusive supremacy of Anglicanism 
in Virginia, proceeded under the authority of acts of assem- 
bly in much the same manner as did that of counties. 
Sometimes their bounds coincided with those of a county, 
again they were separately organized, and still again they 
were formed by the subdivision of counties. As in the case 
of counties their bounds were specified by acts of assembly, 
while the administrative bodies in each were gradually de- 
veloped under the authority of statute. Their growth was 
closely connected with the development of the ecclesiastical, 
the judicial, and the military institutions of the province, 
and with elections as well, for, though the unit of represen- 
tation in the house of burgesses was regularly the county, 
occasionally a parish was allowed to send members; and as 
the larger towns were incorporated as boroughs they too 
became entitled to separate representation in the assem- 

Conditions were no more favorable to the development 
of towns in Virginia than they were in Maryland, or in the 
provinces farther south. After 1655 efforts were repeatedly 
made to encourage their growth by legislation, and the 
argument derived from trade facilities was strongly urged 
in their favor. But overland traffic was too difficult and 
the private wharves of the tobacco planters on the river 
banks were too accessible for all parties concerned to admit 
of change. Therefore, with the exception of Jamestown 

1 Hening, I. 125. 

s Ibid. I. 228, 229, 249, 278, 847, etc. ; ibid. 227, 260, 277, 400, 421, 


and a borough or two elsewhere, nothing resembling a town chap. 
existed in Virginia in the seventeenth century. In the few 
which were founded the territorial and other arrangements 
were such as have already been referred to as existing 
throughout the southern colonies. 

The judicial system of Virginia consisted of the general 
or quarter court and the county courts, while the general 
assembly also heard appeals, though, during much of the 
period, in cases which could not be brought under known 
laws or precedents. The general court ^ consisted of the 
governor and council in judicial session, and met quarterly 
at Jamestown. It was the highest distinctively judicial 
body in the province, and had jurisdiction over civil suits 
involving more than 1600 pounds of tobacco and over crimi- 
nal cases involving life or member. The records of the gov- 
ernor and council as general court in early times were not 
kept very distinct, for in those which have survived appear 
many matters of a purely administrative nature. 

The courts of the counties — called until 1643 monthly 
courts — consisted of the commissioners of the counties, who 
soon came generally to be known as justices. Their powers 
and procedure approximated to those of the county justices 
of England.^ In 1643 their original jurisdiction in civil suits 
was limited to those which involved less than 1600 pounds 
of tobacco but more than 20«. sterling. Their criminal 
jurisdiction was limited to cases which did not involve 
life or member ; but they tried a variety of crimes 
for which imprisonment, whipping, the pillory, tying neck 
and heels, and a variety of other penalties^ were imposed. 
They probated wills, recorded inventories, and had the 
care of orphans. Like the county courts in England and 
in the colonies generally, they did a large amount of 
administrative business and that of a very miscellaneous 
character. This made them a most important part of the 

iVa. Mag. of Hist. IV. 24, 246; V. 22, 118, 238, 861; Hening, L 846, 

t Hening, I. 126. On page 186 ia a commission which was issued to the 
jnstices in 1682. 

* See Records of Northampton County, printed in Va. Afag. of Hist TV., V. 


PART political and administrative system of the province. As 
^ ^^' J was stated in their commission, the comprehensive duty of 
the county justices was to keep the peace, to see that all 
orders and acts of the assembly were obeyed, to guaranty 
the quiet and security of the people within their jurisdic- 
tion. Petty cases were heard by a single magistrate, 
while from the decisions of the justice the right of appeal 
lay to the general court. 

Over the county justices the governor and council exer- 
cised the right of appointment and control. From the 
county justices and the families of the leading planters 
with which as a class the justices were connected, the 
council itself was recruited. This relationship was being 
established during the period with which we are now con- 
cerned, but it was not perfected until after the Restoration. 
At that time clearly appeared the intimate political and 
social relationship between the governor and council on 
the one hand and the county families and magistrates on the 
other which constituted the essence of Virginia government. 
In no province was the combination so perfect and harmo- 
nious as in Virginia. To it the aristocracy of that colony 
owed its origin. It was buttressed on the one side by the 
plantation system and on the other by commercial, social, 
and political relations with England. 

After royal government had been once established, not 
so close attention was paid by the crown to the interests 
of Virginia as had been shown by the company. Only 
indirectly and to a very small extent did it incur expense 
for the colony. In 1634 Harvey writes that the king had 
granted him by privy seal ^1000^ per annum out of the 
Virginia customs, but he had received nothing as yet from 
that source, though he had been in office about five years. 
In June, 1638, he reported the arrears due him to be ^4000. 
Apparently, like his predecessors, he was forced to look for 
support to fees and judicial fines, which had been granted 
to the governors by orders of the king from the outset.^ 
We know also that the governors received considerable 

1 Va. Mag. of Hiat. VIIL 158 ; X. 426. « Ibid. VII. 373. 


grants of land in the province. Through a variety of CHAP, 
indirect channels they probably managed to secure a respec- ^ ' ^ 
table income, but it did not assume the form of a salary 
or come out of the English exchequer. Still more was 
this true of the other ofiftcers. The home government 
insisted that even the royal provinces should be self-sup- 
porting, that their expenditures should be met out of colo- 
nial revenues. 

Apparently for more than a decade after the fall of the 
company little or no effort was made to collect the quit 
rent of 2«. per hundred acres, which, as we have seen, was 
affixed as a condition to grants of land. But with a view 
to its collection, in 1636 Jerome Hawley,^ a man also promi- 
nent in Maryland history, was appointed treasurer of Vir- 
ginia. He was also instructed to secure all the revenue 
which had originally belonged to the company and now was 
the right of the crown. Hawley did not enter upon his 
duties until late in 1637, but in May, 1638,^ he wrote that he 
hoped to so improve the revenue as to make it defray the gov- 
ernor's "pension " of ^1000 a year. Henceforth a royal treas- 
urer and receiver general held a place among the officials of 
Virginia, the office becoming elective in 1693.^ The efforts 
of these officers, together with the growth of the province, 
ultimately resulted in such a development of the quit rents 
that from them the salaries of later governors were paid. 

Since necessarily the relations between the royal provinces 
and the English government lay chiefly within the sphere of 
the executive, the character of the colonial administration 
depended very largely upon the appointments that were 
made. At no time did such appointments seem specially 
attractive. They were least so in the early stages of co- 
lonial development. They involved, for indefinite periods, 
removal on the part of the appointees from England to small 
and remote settlements, which must have seemed much like 
places of exile. The privations to which officials, as well as 

1 V«. Mag. of Hist IX. 43, 171, 177. « Ihid, X. 424. 

*The sacceasors of Hawley were Roger Wingate (1639-1641), William 
Claiborne (1642-1660), Henry Norwood (1600-1677), Henry Whiting (1602- 
1603). Stanard, The Colonial Virginia Register, 7, 24. 


PART planters, were subjected at the outset in Virginia and New 
^^' ^ England have already been indicated. They continued, 
though in less acute form, after Virginia became a royal 
province. Though in the beginning it seemed possible that 
the home government might provide salaries for royal gov- 
ernors, it failed to do so, and they were thrown back upon 
the uncertain returns from the quit rents or the still more 
precarious appropriations of the assemblies. Fees, perqui- 
sites, and land grants offered chances for dishonesty and 
extortion, which always made them obnoxious to the colo- 
nists at large. One illustration, among many, of the situa- 
tion in which governors found themselves is furnished by 
a letter of Harvey from Virginia, dated May, 1632.^ " I 
conclude with my humble prayers unto your honors to take 
unto your compationate cares my nowe almost three years 
service uppon the place without any means or annual enter- 
tainment to support my great expense, who may as well be 
called the hoste as gouvernor of Virginia, all the country 
affayres being prosecuted at my house in James Island where 
is no other hospitalitie for all commers, and if some speedie 
remedie and reliefe be not found for me, not onlie my creditt 
but my hart will breake." 

In their relations with the council the early appointees of 
the crown to the governorship of Virginia held a position 
intermediate between that which led to the humiliation of 
Wingfield and the autocracy of Delaware and Dale; it was 
neither so weak as the former nor so strong as the latter. 
The commissions of the governors prior to the Restoration were 
in form analogous to those of justices of the peace and quorum 
in England. Authority^ was given to the governor and coun- 
cil jointly. It was to be exercised by the greater number of 
them, among whom the governor was always to be one. " You, 
the said John Harvey," runs the commission of March, 1628, 

1 Va. Mag. of Hist. Vm. 150. 

« Hening, L 117 ; Va. Mag. of Hist. IL 61, 282 ; VH. 129, 260 ; IX. 88 ; 
Colonial Papers, April 2, 1631, December 16, 1634. Randolph Mss. (Va. 
Hist. See), fol. 207 ; Neill, Virginia Carolonim, 101 ; Md, Arch. Proc. of 
Council, 1636-1667, p. 30. The commission granted in 1639 to Wyatt is 
in Va. Mag. of Hist. XL 60. An abstract of the commission of 1641 to 
Berkeley is among the Sainsbury Papers, Va. State Library. 


" and the rest afore mentioned, to be the present Council of CHAP, 
and for the Colony and Plantation in Virginia, Giving and 
by these presents granting unto you and the greater number 
of you respectively, f uU power and authority to execute and 
perform the places, powers and authorities incident to a gov- 
ernor and council of Virginia." Apparently the only dis- 
tinction given to Harvey was this, that his name appeared 
at the head of the list and he was designated as governor. 
Discretion was not granted to the governor alone, after he 
had taken the advice of the council, as was the case in pro- 
prietary commissions and in royal commissions at least 
after the Restoration, and above all in the relations between 
the king and the privy council. Instead, the early commis- 
sions bound the governor by the advice of the council and 
were intended to necessitate his full cooperation with them. 
As compared with the other system, it lessened the prestige 
of the governor and increased the political authority of the 
councUlors. As we shall see, it was an important cause of 
the civil troubles of Harvey's administration, that governor 
exerting himself to the utmost to get free from the restraints 
which it imposed. 

Owing to the failure of the crown for a number of years 
after the dissolution of the company to call an assembly, the 
governor and council, with the officials dependent upon them, 
constituted the only organs of government in Virginia. 
With the governor the councillors, of course, shared in all 
the larger executive concerns of the province. When the 
assembly was revived, they formed its upper house, and that 
gave to the council a large part in legislation. As in all the 
provinces where the executive was vigorous, they constituted 
a group of social and political leaders both in their respective 
counties and in the colony at large, among whom traditions 
of government grew up and were perpetuated. Through the 
governor and council official connection was chiefly main- 
tained with England. They faced, as it were, in two direc- 
tions — toward the colony and toward the parent country, 
and in various ways mediated between them. 

Owing to the lack of records, it is impossible to speak in 
detail of the work of the executive and of its relations with 


PART the assembly during the early history of Virginia as a royal 
K J province. It is even less possible than was the case under 
the company, for the records are now of a dry official character 
and they have been preserved in very fragmentary form. 
Statutes and isolated facts, with glimpses of the status of 
affairs at intervals, are all that now is available. The rec- 
ords of the general court which have survived are equally 
fragmentary, while the county records throw only an indi- 
rect light on the workings of the general executive of the 
province. But in this respect Virginia is not peculiar, for 
we have found the same thing true of Maryland and the 
Carolinas, and especially of the early executive records in 
all the colonies. In the case of none of the colonies is it 
possible to give a connected view of the doings of the execu- 
tive or of its early relations with the legislature. 

After the lapse of the period of four years which immedi- 
ately followed the dissolution of the company, during which 
no assembly was called, the system of annual sessions was es- 
tablished and followed with great regularity. They were 
indeed required by the instructions issued to Wyatt in 1639, 
and by those given two years later to Berkeley. Abundant 
precedents were also established in favor of frequent elec- 
tions. As in all royal provinces, legislation was subject to a 
double veto — by the governor and by the crown. Both execu- 
tives frequently recommended the passage of laws and the 
adoption of specific lines of policy — especially those which 
affected the production of staple commodities, trade, and 
defence ; but only slight evidence appears in the records of 
the time of the exercise of the veto either by the executive 
in Virginia or that in England. Until near the close of the 
seventeenth century the governor, council, and burgesses 
continued to sit together in one house, as they had done 
under the company. The long continuance of this primitive 
arrangement is at once a proof and an occasion of the main- 
tenance of general good feeling. Except in the administra- 
tion of Harvey, we find in early Virginia no instances of 
prolonged strife between the different branches of the legis- 
lature, which were so characteristic of the proprietary prov- 
inces and of the royal provinces in later times. 



At first the number of representatives who should be re- chap. 
turned to the assembly from each county was not specified. ^ ^' 
In 1645 it was restricted to four, except in the case of James 
City county, which was permitted to send five, with one in 
addition for the borough itself. In 1669 and 1670 the number 
of burgesses was finally fixed at two for each county, with one 
additional from Jamestown. A similar privilege was be- 
stowed in the eighteenth century on Norfolk, Williamsburg, 
and William and Mary College.^ With the exception of 
the year 1655 all freemen who were twenty-one years 
of age had the right to vote for burgesses. During those 
years the suffrage was restricted to freeholders, leaseholders, 
and tenants.^ But neither in the act of 1655 nor in that of 
1670 was any attempt made to define the amount of the 
freehold or leasehold, and therefore, under the social condi- 
tions which existed, their provisions could not have made a 
radical change in the suffrage. 

The writs of election were issued by the governor through 
the office of the secretary, and were published by the sheriffs 
in the counties. Elections were held at the county court 
houses, the sheriffs acting as inspectors and returning officers. 

Enough has been said to indicate that in Virginia the 
assembly, from a very early period, held a prominent and 
well established position. It cooperated fully with the gov- 
ernor and council in the development of the law and con- 
stitution of the province. In this way a tradition was early 
established which was to have a powerful influence on colo- 
nial development and on the degree of self government to 
which the colonists laid claim. So far as the provinces in 
general were concerned, and especially the royal provinces, it 
was as significant in its way as was the constitution of the 
corporate colonies for New England. In the sphere of taxa- 
tion the assembly asserted its claim repeatedly and with much 
thoroughness. In 1624, twice in 1632, and again in 1643, 
it was provided by statute that the governor and council 
should not levy any taxes, but that this power belonged ex- 
clusively to the grand assembly ; and also that the expendi- 

1 Hening, I. 200 ; n. 20, 278, 282. 

« Ibid. L 408, 411, 412, 475 ; II. 280 ; W. & M. CoUege Quarterly, VIH. 81. 


PART ture of revenue should be as it directed.^ So far as we are 
^^' J informed, this principle was very consistently enforced. 

The form of direct taxation which was levied during the 
early period was in general the same which had existed 
during the later years of the company. It was a poll tax 
imposed at a uniform rate upon the tithables of the province 
and made payable in tobacco. In 1645, to meet the expense 
of an Indian war, the poll tax was dropped because it was 
found to rest too heavily on the poor, and a general tax 
on property was substituted. This continued until 1648, 
when the poll tax was restored. Various devices were en- 
forced for determining lists of tithables, but in 1649 the term 
was defined so as to include all male servants thereafter to 
be imported and all native servants and freemen of both 
sexes who were sixteen years of age. Lists were to be made 
yearly by the sheriff. By a later act, of 1658, heads of 
families were made to report their tithables to the clerk of 
the county court and he was bound to make ^ an annual list 
of them. Beginning with 1643, in obedience to Governor 
Berkeley's instructioils, councillors were exempted from all 
public charges, church dues only excepted.* 

In 1632 a tonnage duty, payable in powder, was introduced, 
the earliest example of a tax of that kind in the colonies. 
This was continued by later enactment and was collected by 
the commander of the fort at Point Comfort. In 1645, be- 
cause of the war then in progress in England, an addition 
was made to the amount of this duty and it was made pay- 
able to the governor.* In 1658, because of the inequality of 
the poll tax, a duty of 2«. per hogshead was levied for one 
year on the export of tobacco. Collectors of this duty were 
appointed by the assembly for the several rivers and other 
localities whence tobacco was exported, and their commis- 
sions were issued by the governor.* 

As in the other colonies, the expenditures were made for 
a variety of personal services and for supplies, chiefly con- 

1 Hening, L 124, 171, 196, 244. « Ibid, 148, 279, 305, 356, 454. 

* Va. Mag. of Hist. II. 283 ; Hening, I. 279. In 1640 councillore with 
ten servants each had been once exempted. Ihid, 228. 

* Ibid. 176, 218, 247, 801, 812, 583-684. « Ihid. 491. 


nected in both cases with the defence of the province.^ CHAP. 
These, when stated in itemized lists, were allowed by the as- y ' ^ 
sembly and paid on the strength of this allowance by the 
treasurer. The wages of burgesses were paid by their 
counties. OflBcials received their reward chiefly in the form 
of fees and perquisites. The councillors were negatively 
rewarded, as we have seen, by exemption from taxes. In 
1645 the assembly undertook to dispose of the quit rents,^ 
assigning a salary out of them to the treasurer and providing 
that the surplus should go to the governor and council, ^^ and 
thence to be disposed of by the Assembly as they shall think 
fitt." But this was probably a temporary measure, resorted 
to because the civil war in England had left the quit rents 
for the time undisposed of. In the case of many officers the 
amount of fees which they were to receive was early regu- 
lated by acts of assembly. Those which were so regulated 
prior to 1660 were the fees of the secretary, the secretary's 
clerk, the marshal, the clerks of the county courts, sheriffs, 
attorneys, surveyors, and the clerk of the assembly.^ 

So far as we know, the only feature which was peculiar to 
the Virginia executive was the dependent relation toward 
the council, already referred to, in which the governor was 
placed by his commission. This made him a member of the 
council, even when it was in legislative session. When taken 
in connection with special personal and political conditions 
which existed in Governor Harvey's administration, it helped 
to bring about an acute crisis. The accounts which have been 
preserved of this event are unusually full, and they throw more 
light on the political conditions of the time in Virginia than 
any other material which is at our command. In view of our 
fragmentary knowledge of the period in general, a f uU account 
of this episode becomes especially necessary. ' 

The relations of Harvey, not only with the council but 
with the inhabitants of Virginia at large, were influenced to 
such a degree by the grant of Maryland to the Calverts, that 
without an explanation of the bearing of this act on Virginia 
rights and interests, the uprising against Harvey cannot be 
understood. The English government, as we have stated, 

1 Hening, L 142, 171, 196. < Ibid. 907. * Ibid, 176, 266, 276, 335, 400. 


FART always held that ungranted and unsettled land within a 
royal province was royal domain, and hence was subject to 
grant by the king. It considered the unsettled parts of 
Virginia after the dissolution of the company as in this con- 
dition. The Virginians, however, insisted or were inclined 
to insist that the members of the late company had been 
tenants in common of the province, and that the territory 
extending two hundred miles north and south of Point Com- 
fort was one and indivisible. They were proud of the old 
dominion with its magnificent proportions, and viewed with 
dislike any plan to divide it. Though the opinion that it 
could not be divided was untenable, it led the Virginians to 
actively oppose projects of division, especially if the interests 
of any of their number were likely to suffer thereby. The 
existence of this feeling was first revealed by the grant of 
Maryland to Lord Baltimore. 

Special force was given to the argument of the Virginians 
by the interest which William Claiborne and his partners 
had in Kent island in Chesapeake bay.^ Claiborne, who 
came from a north of England family, emigrated to Virginia 
in lj521, under appointment from the company as surveyor. 
His ability gained him immediate success and promotion. 
He became a member of the council and secretary of the 
province. These positions he held when Harvey was ap- 
pointed governor. 

In 1627, and again in 1628, Claiborne received license from 
governors of Virginia to trade and explore along the shores 
of the upper Chesapeake, and also in other unsettled parts of 
the province. In 1629 he was appointed to command an 
expedition to punish the Indians for ravages which they 
had committed. As a member of the council Claiborne had 
been one of those who tendered the oaths of allegiance and 
supremacy to Lord Baltimore, when he visited Virginia 
in 1629. The interests which as a trader Claiborne was 
developing were menaced by the plans of that Catholic 
nobleman to procure a grant somewhere in the unoccupied 
regions of Virginia. Claiborne went to England and op- 

1 Md. Arch., Proceedings of Council, 1936-1667, 1&-44 ; ibid. Proceed- 
ings of Council, 1667-1088, 157-239. 


posed the grant of Maryland by such means as he could CHAP, 

Though his efforts in that direction failed, he interested 
Cloberry and Company, a firm of London merchants, in 
his schemes, and was appointed their agent. Sir William 
Alexander also took a hand in the business, and apparently 
with his assistance Claiborne and his associates, in 1631, pro- 
cured from the king a license to trade to any part of the 
North American coast where a monopoly of traffic had not 
been granted. Early in 1632 Governor Harvey granted Clai- 
borne a license to trade with the Dutch plantations. As the 
result of this enterprise Kent island was taken possession of 
and stocked with servants and cattle. It remained in the 
possession of Claiborne until 1637, but not by virtue of any 
grant of land or any authority to be there except that which 
came from the licenses to trade which had been issued by the 
governors of Virginia. 

In the meantime, by a perfectly legitimate exercise of royal 
power, the territory of which Kent island was a part had 
been granted to Lord Baltimore and the settlement of it had 
begpin. The Virginians petitioned the king against this 
grant, but the privy council decided, after hearing the case, 
that Lord Baltimore should be left to his patent and the 
other party to the course of the law. The Virginians never 
instituted suit.^ Governor Harvey was instructed to give 
such assistance to Lord Baltimore's colonists in establishing 
themselves north of the Potomac as lay within his power. 
He and Governor Calvert met as soon as the first body of 
colonists reached Virginia waters, and courtesies were duly 
exchanged. Claiborne was also informed that his rights on 
Kent island would be protected and his enterprise there 
encouraged, but he must acknowledge himself a tenant of 
Lord Baltimore as proprietor.^ If he wished to trade fur^ 
ther along the upper shore of Chesapeake bay, he must pro- 
cure a license from Maryland. 

Claiborne at once submitted this question to his colleagues 

1 Colonial Fftpen, July 3, 1833. The caption of the order in council as 
given in Md. Arch., Proceedings of Council, 1638-1667, 21, is wrong. 
* Calvert Papers, I. 136; Bozman, II. 27. 


PART in the Virginia council.* They had been irritated by the 
issue of the Maryland charter, because it curtailed their 
domain. The appearance within the Chesapeake of commer- 
cial rivals, and they, too, of the Catholic faith, was anything 
but welcome to the Virginians. Therefore the council of 
Virginia expressed wonder that Claiborne should raise the 
question of recognizing Baltimore as his overlord. They 
would not surrender their right to Kent island until the 
validity of Baltimore's claim to it was determined by the 
king. Meanwhile, however, they would live on good terms 
with the Marylanders, and expected similar treatment in 
return. Encouraged by this support, Claiborne refused to 
acknowledge the superior rights of Lord Baltimore. 

Before many months had passed the Patuxent Indians 
began to grow restive, and when inquiry was made for the 
cause, the Indians, through Henry Fleet as interpreter, 
charged Claiborne with having told them that the settlers 
at St. Mary's were Spaniards and enemies of the English.^ 
As Fleet was a rival of Claiborne in the Indian trade, the 
truth of this testimony is seriously weakened. Later state- 
ments of the Indians also tended to invalidate it. But it 
led to the issue, in September, 1634, of an instruction by 
Lord Baltimore that, if Claiborne continued his refusal to 
acknowledge Maryland authority, he should be arrested and 
imprisoned. A few months later a pinnace belonging to 
Claiborne, which was trading in Maryland waters without 
a license from Calvert, was captured. Thereupon Claiborne 
manned a shallop under Lieutenant Ratcliffe Warren ^ and 
commissioned him to seize any vessels which belonged to the 
Maryland government. Upon hearing of this, the Maryland 
governor sent out two armed pinnaces under Captain Thomas 
Cornwallis. In the spring of 1635 two encounters occurred 
between these forces, in the first of which four men were 
killed and several wounded. Among the killed was Warren, 
Claiborne's commander. 

Virginia was much aroused over this afiPair, and it doubt- 

1 Md. Arch., Proceedings of Council, 1667-1688, 164 ; Neill, 100. 

2 Md. Arch., Proceedings of Council, 1667-1688, 165-168. 
* Bozman, L 34. 


less contributed strongly toward the resistance which forced CHAF. 
Harvey to leave the province. But, though Virginia y * j 
sympathized with Claiborne, it was forced to send commis- 
sioners to Maryland, who assisted in arranging a temporary 

Near the close of 1636 George Evelyn ^ arrived in Mary- 
land. He was sent over as the attorney of Cloberry and 
Company, with instructions to take charge of the settlement 
on Kent island and to request Claiborne to come to England 
to explain his doings and adjust accounts. Though Evelyn 
at first declared his belief that Baltimore was not legally 
entitled to jurisdiction over Kent island, Claiborne, before he 
left, in the presence of the servants tried to induce him to 
give a bond of £3000 that he would not deliver the island 
over to the Marylanders.^ But the bond was not given and 
Claiborne left the island in the hands of Evelyn. The latter, 
whether led by conviction or interest, soon opened relations 
with Governor Calvert. The governor appointed him com- 
mander of Kent island, and he then tried to persuade its 
inhabitants to freely submit to the Maryland government. 
Failing in this, he persuaded Governor Calvert to reduce the 
island by armed force. This was accomplished in December, 
1637, and was accompanied with not a little harshness toward 
the faithful adherents of Claiborne. Against Claiborne, who 
was still absent in England, the Maryland assembly passed 
an act of attainder in March, 1638.^ All his lands and goods 
within Maryland were declared forfeited to the proprietor. 
This was the end of his proceedings in that province imtil 
they became merged with the religious and political struggle 
of the next decade. 

In England suit was brought by Cloberry and Company 
against Claiborne. It came to trial in 1640, but the result 
does not appear in extant records. Cloberry and Company 
acknowledged the jurisdiction of Lord Baltimore over Kent 

1 Streeter, The First Commander of Kent Island, Fund Pubs, of Md. 
Hist. Soc. 

> This is reported in a long series of depositions, Md. Arch., Proceedings of 
Coancil, 1667-1688, 181 et seq, 

s Md. Arch., Proceedings of Assembly, 1638-1664, 23. 


PART island by serving out warrants against certain debtors there.* 
' y Claiborne, still pursuing his plans as a trader, petitioned 
the king that Baltimore might be restrained from interfering 
with his trade. He also urged that a tract of land extend- 
ing the breadth of twelve leagues on each bank of the Susque- 
hanna river from its mouth to its source, a grant of which he 
sought, should also be extended northward to the Saint Law- 
rence and be prolonged southward from the mouth of the Sus- 
quehanna toward the sea. The fact that this grant, if made, 
would have cut in twain the possessions of the crown, and 
that it would have given to Claiborne a considerable part of 
Maryland, sufficiently indicates its extravagant character. 
Its object evidently was to enable Claiborne to get access to 
the fur-producing regions of the northwest and to the Indian 
tribes which dwelt there. All these advantages he hoped 
to receive for a rent of £50 per year. It is needless to say 
that this grant was never made, but plans suggested by the 
proposal were cherished for some years, while with a view to 
perpetuating his influence in the upper Chesapeake, Claiborne 
bought Palmer's island from the Indians. 

For some years before the crisis in the affairs of Claiborne 
was reached, a feeling of irritation on the part of Virginians 
toward Governor Harvey had been growing. This was 
partly due to the offensive manners and arbitrary conduct 
of the governor. Owing to the lack of records, we have 
little first-hand information concerning the details of his 
misgovemment ; but of the fact in general there is suffi- 
cient evidence. Appointments under the English govern- 
ment throughout our colonial period were secured largely 
through privilege, influence, and favoritism. Merit, imper- 
sonally considered, played some part, but in a large propor- 
tion of cases it was subordinate. In most cases it could be 
but roughly ascertained, and figured only in connection with 
motives of a more personal sort. These considerations go far 
to explain the inferior character of many colonial appoint- 
ments. They were part and parcel of the British civil ser- 
vice and exhibit its defects. In many cases military and 
naval officers of inferior rank, or persons who had held lower 

1 Md. Arch., Proceedings of ProTincial Court, 1637-1650, 3, 13, 26, 34. 


positions at court or were relatives of some influential CHAP. 
nobleman were selected to be governors. In too many cases 
they lacked the proper experience, or were narrow and selfish 
in their aims. They too often came for gain rather than ser- 
vice. Sometimes they followed in civil life the methods of 
the camp or the quarter-deck. Again, while laboring zeal- 
ously to uphold the legal rights of the crown, they often 
failed to win the loyalty of the colonists by the pursuit of 
measures which were clearly for their benefit. On the other 
hand not a few of the royal governors rendered excellent seiv 
vice both to the crown and the colonists. Of the less accept- 
able class among them, John Harvey of Virginia was an 

Previous to his appointment as governor in 1628, Harvey 
had served in the English navy. He had also been at the 
head of the commission which was sent to Virginia in 1623 to 
collect information for the use of the government in its prose- 
cution of the London company. After his appointment as gov- 
ernor, if we are to credit the statements of his opponents, he ex- 
hibited the two worst qualities which a governor could possess, 
greed and an arbitrary temper. He is charged with multi- 
plying fines and levying excessive fees, and even with ap- 
propriating money which belonged in the treasury of the 
province. Already fees had been to an extent regulated by 
law in Virginia, though this had not been done in the case 
of those which went directly to the governor. The custom 
of making appropriation bills specific was already being 
followed by the Virginia legislature, and in two acts before 
Harvey's time ^ a general requirement that public moneys 
should be levied and employed as the assembly directed had 
found a place. But in neither case do the provisions appear 
to have been so precise and exhaustive as to have prevented 
the governor from using his discretion. The complaint of 
Harvey's opponents that he had refused to account for the 
expenditure of public money might therefore, if we had the 
records, be susceptible of an explanation in harmony with 
law, or at least with current practice. 

There is no doubt that Harvey was arrogant and even 

1 Hening, L 142, 171. 

TOL. IU-— H 



FART brutal in conduct, and that at times he tried to play the 


^ ' J petty tyrant. He admitted having assaulted one of the 
members of the council. He was charged with failure to 
show respect for the votes of the council. It was said that 
he had reviled the councillors in open court, and had told 
them that their part was simply to advise, the decision 
resting wholly with himself as the representative of the 
king. Finally, he had detained the original of a letter which 
the council was sending to the king to protest against one 
of the proposed tobacco contracts,^ though he did send a copy. 
In his letters home Harvey complained of the powerlessness 
in the council to which by the terms of his commission * he 
was condemned, and he was probably attempting by as- 
sumption of power to escape from that condition. A man 
of his character would have found limitations, even if he 
had possessed the power which belonged to royal gov- 
ernors in later times. But in his treatment of Dr. Pott, his 
predecessor, who was found guilty of retaining some cattle 
which did not belong to him and also of having pardoned 
a murderer, Harvey showed a sense of fairness and justice. 
He sent a petition to the king that Pott, though his estates 
were justly forfeit, might yet be pardoned. The reasons 
assigned were his long residence in the province, his peni- 
tence, and the value of his services as a physician. The 
petition was successful and the pardon was duly issued.^ 

When, in May, 1635, news came of the defeat of Clai- 
borne's force by Thomas Cornwallis, the accumulated griev- 
ances of the Virginians against Maryland and against 
Harvey, both as governor and as the patron of Maryland, 
became too heavy for longer endurance. For some time 
past those who had ventured to speak well of Maryland had 

^ Captain Mathews also charged Harvey with holding back a letter from 
the king relating to a tobacco contract. This may have referred to a proposed 
contract for the negotiation of which one Stoner had lately been sent over by 
the king, bat had died on the voyage. Colonial Papers, 1674-1660, 100, 105, 

> Harvey states that his power in Virginia was not great, as he was limited 
by his commission to ** the greater number of voices at the council table.*' 
Va. Mag. of Hist. VIII. 161. 

• Neill, 70 ; Hening, 1. 145 ; Colonial Papers, May 20, July 16, 1680, July 25, 
27, and August 20, 1631. 


been regarded almost as criminals. Planters had explained CHAP, 
that they had rather knock their cattle on the head than sell ^^' 
them to Marylanders. Captain Samuel Mathews, on receiv- 
ing what was presumably unfavorable news from England con- 
cerning Claiborne's suit, is reported to have thrown his hat 
upon the ground and, stamping in fury, to have exclaimed, 
" A pox upon Maryland ! " When Governor Harvey re- 
moved Claiborne from the secretaryship and put Kemp in 
his place. Rev. Anthony Panton is said to have called the 
latter a ^^ jackanapes," and to have told him that he was 
unfit for the place of secretary. Harvey knew of many con- 
ferences being held by the foes of Maryland, of many letters 
being sent to and fro, but unlike some New England 
governors under similar circumstances, he respected the 
secrecy ^ of the mail. 

On April 27 a meeting was held at the house of William 
Warren in York, when speeches of protest against the mis- 
government of Harvey were made. The next morning 
Captain Nicholas Martin, Francis Pott — a brother of the 
doctor, — and William English, sheriff of York, were arrested 
on the governor's* warrant for the share which they had 
taken in the meeting. When they asked the reason for 
their arrest, they were told, in language which reminds one 
of the utterances of Governor Berkeley forty years later, that 
they should know at the gallows. When the council met 
the governor declared that the prisoners should be proceeded 
against by martial law, but the councillors insisted that they 
should have a legal trial. Harvey then became very angry, 
and after sitting down and bidding the councillors be seated, 
put to them the question, " What do you think they deserve 
that have gone about to persuade the people from their 
obedience to his Majesty's substitute?" An immediate 
answer was required. The first individual to whom the 
question was directly put was George Menefie. He replied 
sarcastically that he was only a young lawyer and dared not 

1 Md. Arch., Proceedings of Council, 1636-1667, 30. 

* The letter of Captain Mathews and the declaration of Grovemor Harvey 
concendng the '* meeting of 1635 '* are in Va. Mag. of Hist. I. 416-430. See 
alflo Nem, 116. 


"upon the sudden" deliver his opinion. William Ferrar 
and Captain Mathews then objected to the proceeding of the 
governor as strange and unprecedented. Mathews compared 
it to the accusation by Richard III against Lord Hastings 
before the council. After this the rest^ of the councillors 
found their voices, and opposed the governor's course. 
" Then followed many bitter languages from him [the gov- 
ernor] until the sitting ended." 

At the next session the governor sternly demanded the 
reason why a petition against him had recently been drawn 
in the province. Menefie replied that its chief cause was 
the fact that letters which had been prepared for the king 
had been detained. Upon this the governor, rising in a 
rage, struck Menefie on the shoulder, exclaiming, " I arrest 
you for suspicion of Treason to his Majestic." Captain 
Utie, who stood near, said, "And wee the like to you, sir." 
"Whereupon I," writes Mathews, "seeing him in a rage, 
took him^ in my armes and said, ^Sir, there is no harm in- 
tended against you, save only to acquaint you with the 
grievances of the Inhabitants, and to that end I desire you 
to sitt down in your chayre.' " Then Mathews stated to him 
what the grievances were, and asked that they might in some 
way be redressed. Mathews and the other councillors told 
Harvey that he must go to England and answer complaints 
which would be made there against him. 

In the midst of these occurrences, on a signal from Dr. 
Pott, the governor's house, where the council was sitting, 
was surrounded by armed men. The three men whom 
Harvey had arrested were now released. The governor 
found his protests of no avail. So imminent seemed the 
danger of personal injury to him that a guard was appointed. 
The council also took possession of his commission and in- 
structions. The burgesses of the late assembly were called 
together by the insurgents. When the burgesses met, they 
approved the doings of the council, and recorded the fact 
that Sir John Harvey was thrust out of his government. 
Captain John West was chosen to act as governor until the 
king's pleasure was known. Charges were formulated against 

1 See also Ya. Mag. of Hist. IX. 34. 


Harvey, and their conveyance to England was intrusted to CHAP. 
Francis Pott and Thomas Harwood. Harvey sailed on the^^ 
same vessel with them. 

In July, 1635, Harvey and his two accusers landed at 
Plymouth. But so tumultuous and extraordinary had been 
the proceedings in Virginia, that the arrest of Pott and 
Harwood at Plymouth and their detention at the instance of 
Harvey should not awaken surprise. Harvey proceeded to 
London and submitted a statement in his own defence to the 
commissioners of foreign plantations.^ In the following 
December the case was heard by the privy council, the king 
being present.* Before the hearing began the king declared 
that the expulsion of the governor was an asisumption of 
royal power, and that it was necessary to send him back if 
he stayed but a day. Harvey denied several of the charges 
which had been made against him, though he admitted that 
he had assumed the power to make and remove councillors. 
No one appeared against the governor, — Pott being still in 
prison, — and after Harvey had remained in England eight 
or ten months, he returned to Virginia. West, Mathews, 
Utie, Menefie, and Pierce, the leading accusers of the governor, 
were summoned ^ to England to answer charges before Star 
Chamber. After a detention there for a year or more with- 
out trial, they were allowed to return under security for good 

Harvey continued to hold the oflBce of governor in Vir- 
ginia until 1639. During those years Secretary Kemp was 
closely associated with him in the management of affairs. 
The two were still the objects of many loud complaints, and, 
if reports are true, were guilty of some arbitrary acts. The 
Rev. Anthony Panton, minister of the parishes of York and 
Kiskiack, because he made some contemptuous remarks 
about the secretary, and perhaps in other ways had offended 
both him and the governor, was severely punished by them. 
Both his property and his parochial' dues were seized, and he 
was banished from the province under threat of the death 
penalty if he ever returned. The Virginia merchants also 

1 Colonial Papers, July, 1636. > Ibid. December 11, 1635. 

• Va. Mag. of Hist. IX. 179, 180, 267-269. 

• • * 



[»ARTi**<;ottiplained against Harvey and Kemp because they collected 

_^p.. certain fees and a powder duty. The fees consisted of 6d. 
;,V-V ^^^ every passenger who was landed in the province 

;*••./ and 2d, for every hogshead of tobacco that was exported. 
They were used for the payment of the officers who 

. kept the lists of exported commodities, the registrar of 

immigrants, and him who administered to the immigrants 
the oaths of supremacy and allegiance. The officer in each 
case was Kemp himself, or some one connected with his office. 
Complaint was also made because Jamestown was declared 
the only port of entry, though not of clearance. From these 
charges, however, the governor and secretary were able to 
clear themselves by showing that they had acted in accordance 
with some law or instruction.^ But both of these officials 
were believed to be seeking their own interests rather than 
those of the province. Panton, the banished clergyman, 
carried his case on appeal to the privy council,* and upon its 
consideration facts were doubtless stated which revealed the 
arbitrariness of Harvey and some of the councillors. We 
know also that the other charges were submitted to the 
ministers in England, and that Harvey and Kemp presented 
a long defence. But the government determined to recall 
Harvey, and appointed Francis Wyatt to fill his place. Wyatt 
and his council were ordered to inquire into the case of Mr. 
Panton in Virginia. This they did with the result that 
Panton was reinstated in his living and full restitution of 
his property was made. Kemp left Virginia for a time, but 
in Berkeley's administration he was restored to the office of 
secretary and on one occasion was acting governor.' 

Wyatt's second term of two years passed without not- 
able event. In 1641 Sir William Berkeley was commis- 
sioned as governor, and held the office for ten years, when, 
as the result of the submission of the province to the com- 
missioners of parliament, the government was reorganized. 
Berkeley was an Oxford graduate, and, though in no sense 

1 Va. Mag. of Hist. m. 21-34; IX. 176, 176, 177; XL 46, 56; Colonial 
Papers, January 18, 1639. 

* Colonial Papers, January 18, and August 10, 1639. 

• Va. Mag. of Hist. V. 123-128 ; XI, 50, 170 ; Neill, Virginia Carolorum, 184. 


a scholar or a patron of learning, was a man of sound practical' CHAP, 
judgment. He had been connected with the court of Charles ^ ' j 
Ij and was a strong supporter of the royalist cause. He 
discouraged efforts of certain New England ministers to 
settle in the Nansemond region, and in the end cooperated 
in the removal of a considerable body of Puritans from that 
district to Maryland. Under the lead of the governor, 
Virginia was kept steadily loyal to the cause of the king, 
while by his loyalty the success of Berkeley as an executive 
was enhanced. Virginia never had a more popular or suc- 
cessful governor than was Berkeley during this administration. 
With the appointments of Wyatt and Berkeley, Virginia 
may be considered to have attained substantially its full 
development as a royal province. The commissions and 
instructions which were issued to these governors, especially 
those of Berkeley, were much more complete than any which 
had preceded them, though they did not change the relation 
in which the chief executive stood to his councillors. That 
was left to be effected after the Restoration.^ But in these 
documents a comprehensive plan was sketched for the guid- 
ance of the executive. He should not permit any to settle 
in the province unless they took the oaths of allegiance and 
supremacy. He should foster and support worship according 
to the forms of the Established Church, should exercise care 
in the appointment of ministers, should see that houses were 
built for them and glebes provided. Good morals should be 
promoted, especially by the suppression of drunkenness and 
regulation of the import and sale of strong waters. Justice 
should be administered, both in the quarter courts of the 
governor and council and in the county courts, in accordance 
with the forms of the English tribunals. Offending coun- 
cillors might be brought to justice before the quarter courts 
or before special sessions of the council. Assemblies should 
be called annually, while by the exercise of the veto and in 
other ways the governor should keep their legislation in 
proper conformity with that of England. To the governor 
should belong the appointment of all officials below the rank 
of councillors, the captain of the fort, the muster master 

iVa.Mag. ofHlBt IL281; XL 60-67. 


FART general and suryejor general. As an indirect form of re- 
^^* ward for their services, every councillor, together with ten 
of his servants, was exempted from taxation, save in case of 
a defensive war and of contributions for the building of 
towns and churches and for ministers' dues. This was a 
feature of the system that was peculiar to Virginia, and in 
the end it was destined to have unfortunate effects. 

The governor was to see that the obligation of the assize 
of arms was fully enforced by the muster master general ; 
that the colonists were properly trained, and that a garrison 
of ten men be stationed at Point Comfort. The limits of 
age for military service were fixed, as in most of the other 
colonies, at sixteen and sixty, and newcomers were for the 
first year exempted from all service except the defence of 
the places where they dwelt. Provision was made for a 
system of alarms, while intercourse with the Indians was to 
be strictly regulated, partly as a means of defence. Special 
care should also be given to the regulation of trade and 
industry. The building of towns should be constantly en- 
couraged. Unimproved lands should be regranted to actual 
settlers. Constant effort should be made to diversify the 
industry of the province by restricting the growth of tobacco 
and encouraging the production of corn, wheat, hemp, flax, 
pitch, tar, the wine and silk industries, and the raising of 
cattle. In order to avoid forestalling and engrossing, ships 
were not to be allowed to break bulk until they reached 
Jamestown. Intercourse between colonists and the crews of 
merchant vessels at that port were to be regulated by license. 
Trade with the vessels of foreigners waa forbidden, save in 
extremity. In the case of all exports from Virginia, bond 
must be given that they would be landed within the king's 
dominions ; in the case of foreign vessels, that they be landed 
at the port of London. 

Not perfectly, but, as the times went, with a fair degree of 
fidelity, the Virginia executive adhered to this programme. 
In doing so he was supported by the legislature, in whose 
enactments detailed provisions will often be found for the 
enforcement of the principles which were set forth in the 
royal instructions. 



Thb period of twenty years which passed between the be- CHAP, 
ginning of the Civil War and the restoration of the kingship 
falls into two parts of equal length. The first comprised the 
eleven years between the opening of the struggle and the 
establishment of the Protectorate. The second — somewhat 
shorter than its predecessor— coincided with the Protectorate 
itself and with the collapse of that institution, followed, as it 
was, by the return of the survivors of the Long Parliament 
and by the changes which preceded the recall of Charles II. 
When the measures and policies which characterized those two 
intervals of time are compared, a marked distinction between 
them will appear. The former may be roughly characterized 
as destructive, the second as constructive. The first decade 
was occupied with the Civil War in England, with the reduc- 
tion of Ireland and Scotland, with the abolition of the king- 
ship and of the House of Lords, witli the early and crude 
efforts of the Rump Parliament to conduct the business of the 
nation alone. This was the destructive stage of the Puritan 
revolution. By it the continuity of English administration 
was broken. The plans of the king and his ministers were 
interrupted. The English executive, as it had been organized 
of old, fell into ruin. Administration, so far especially as it 
affected foreign and colonial affairs, was relaxed. The 
attention of all parties was for the time concentrated on the 
gresit struggle which was in progress at home. Many of the 
old ruling families were thrust into the background. New 
men rose to prominence and strove eagerly for place and 
wealth. It was a time of change, of unwonted freedom of 
movement, in both the economic and political spheres. 

But after the king and his supporters had been humbled 
and the enemies of parliament in all the three kingdoms 
had been subdued, the necessity of welding the fragments 



PART together into a new and, if possible, a permanent govern - 
V • J mental structure became apparent. Then began the construc- 
tive period of the revolution. As an incident of the struggle, 
the first stage of which was just closing, the parliament 
had been changed almost beyond recognition. Now it needed 
thorough reform. A new executive must be also developed 
to take the place of the king and of the various officials who 
surrounded him. And, finally, the executive and the parlia- 
ment must, if possible, be made to work together harmoni- 
ously. The institution which was developed to meet this need 
was the Protectorate. It was a reorganized executive, cre- 
ated to fill the void left by the fall of the kingship and to give 
that degree of unity and permanence without which govern- 
ment is not possible. The personality of Oliver Cromwell 
found expression in the Protectorate, as it had done in the 
later stages of the Civil War. With the support of army 
and navy he, as far as it was possible, gave inspiration to 
the executive, conciliated the national spirit by means of 
a succession of parliaments, and laid the foundations of a 
foreign and colonial policy. Only a beginning was made; 
after his death the structure which he had labored so heroi- 
cally to raise fell to pieces. Certain elements, or suggestions, 
however, survived. These, when viewed in connection with 
Cromwell's immediate projects, enable us, especially in co- 
lonial relations, to distinguish the Protectorate from the 
decade which preceded and to connect it also with the 
period that followed. In the present chapter an effort 
will be made to exhibit in their relations the chief features 
of colonial development during the transition period of 
twenty years, which is perhaps beat described by the single 
word Interregnum. 

During the early years of the period the parliament was 
the immediate source of authority and was universally rec- 
ognized as such. It assumed the functions which had been 
discharged by the king, while it also retained its accustomed 
legislative powers. This affected its relations with the 
colonies equally with those it bore to the realm. The parlia- 
ment, whether in the form of two houses as they existed 
during and after the war, or as the later Rump, was now not 


merely the source of statute law, so far as it affected the CHAF. 
colonies, but of executive action and control as well. The ^ ^' j 
administrative officials and boards now became directly or 
indirectly the appointees of the parliament, and the way 
was opened for a more continuous and intimate relation be- 
tween that body and the colonies than had previously existed. 
The reception which this change met in the colonies, as well 
as its bearing on their fortunes, varied with the attitude 
which the colonists bore toward the parties that were con- 
tending in England. The first act of the Long Parliament 
which affected the colonies was the appointment, in Novem- 
ber, 1643, of six lords and twelve commoners as a board ^ of 
commissioners for plantations. At the head of this board, 
with the title of govemor-in-chief and lord high admiral of 
the plantations in America, was the Presbyterian peer, 
Robert, Earl of Warwick, who since the previous summer 
had been admiral of the fleet. He was the same Warwick 
who, years before, had been so deeply concerned in the 
affairs of the Virginia company. Prominent among his asso- 
ciates were the Earl of Manchester, Viscount Say and Sele, 
Philip Lord Wharton, the younger Vane, Hazlerigg, Pym, 
Cromwell, and Samuel Vassall. This body took the place 
which had been held by the king's board of commissioners, 
with the archbishop of Canterbury at its head. The powers 
which were given by ordinance to this board were by no 
means equal to those which had been held by the commission 
of 1634, yet they extended to the appointment and removal 
of governors, councillors, and other officials, as well as the 
securing of information concerning the colonies by means of 
testimony and the use of colonial records. The commis- 
sioners were also authorized, when fit occasion arose, to 
transfer some part of their authority to the officials who 
were appointed by the proprietors of the colonies or chosen 
by their inhabitants. Of this in some cases they availed 
themselves, when the disturbed conditions in England dic- 
tated ; and, as a result, the colonies enjoyed unusual freedom. 
Especially was this true of New England. The leading 
members of the new plantation board, especially the peers, 
^ Hazard, Hiat CoUa. I. 533 ; Colonial Fapexs, Nov. 24, 1643. 


stood near to the Puritan colonies and were disposed to lend 
a ready ear to their demands. The comfortable assurance 
of this fact was felt in New England, as the issue of the 
Body of Liberties by Massachusetts and the formation of the 
confederacy testified. England and New England were now 
moving in nearly parallel lines, and a spirit of sympathy 
existed between the dominant parties in each. At the same 
time the Puritan colonies were ready now, as ever, to stand 
on their chartered rights, as was evidenced by the attitude 
of Massachusetts on two occasions, in 1644, when conflicts 
were threatened in Boston harbor between vessels which 
bore respectively the colors of parliament and of the king. 
In the former instance a Bristol ship was taken by one Cap- 
tain Stagg, who, for his act, showed a commission from the 
lord high admiral, the Earl of Warwick, reciting also an ordi- 
nance of parliament authorizing him to take prizes. In the 
second instance the Massachusetts officials took a Dartmouth 
vessel under protection to save it from capture, alleging that 
the captain who sought to take it had no right to do so be- 
cause his commission, though granted by Warwick, men- 
tioned no ordinance of parliament, and was not under the 
great seal. These cases, especially the former, provoked 
considerable discussion, the clergy participating. The mag- 
istrates and elders concluded not to compel Captain Stagg to 
restore his prize, because, by so doing, Massachusetts might 
lose the support of parliament, which was its only friend in 
Europe, and also because through the burgesses of East 
Greenwich they were represented in parliament, and, if they 
denied the authority of parliament over them, they would 
be denying the foundation of their government by patent. 
Though not subject to appeals, they admitted that they 
were not absolute without parliament, nor free " in point of 
state." 1 

Virginia and some of the island colonies took the opposite 
attitude of pronounced hostility to the new regime. But 
until comparative quiet came in England, they were left as 
free in their hostility as New England was in its sympathy. 

1 Winthrop, II. 222-225, 238-240 ; Doyle, Puritan Colonies, Eng. ed. 1. 367 ; 
Mass. Recs. III. 31. 


It was during these years that the natural tendency, already CHAP, 
operating, to trade freely with the Dutch and other for- 
eigners, both in America and in Europe, was strengthened ; 
while the spirit of colonial independence bore fruit in the 
issue of the Massachusetts coinage. 

The outbreak of the Civil War checked a large flow of 
emigration to New England, while it attracted back to Eng- 
land some of the colonists who were ready to serve parlia- 
ment either in war or in civil pursuits. In the autumn of 
1642 the peers who later became members of the plantation 
board, with a considerable number of members of the com- 
mons and ministers, had written to the clergymen,^ Cotton, 
Hooker, and Davenport, urging them to return with all 
speed to England to assist in the ^^ seatlinge and composing 
the affaires of the church." Though the Westminster 
Assembly did not meet until the following July, plans for 
such a work as it undertook were already under discussion. 
No one of the New England clergy risked the peril of 
becoming entangled in English ecclesiastical politics by 
accepting this invitation. But as soon as the board of 
commissioners for plantations had been appointed, Peters 
and Welde, who for two years had virtually been acting as 
agents of Massachusetts, attempted to procure for that col- 
ony the grant of the Narragansett region, to which reference 
has already been made.^ But the scheme failed, and in 
March of the following year, in response to the petitions of 
Roger Williams, the commissioners granted their first charter 
to the Narragansett plantations. 

The service which Williams rendered during this visit to 
England was far greater than any duty which was imme- 
diately connected with his position as agent. It made his 
asfency unique, for by it the liberalizing tendencies of the 
Old and New World were for the moment brought into co- 
operation, and some of the highest products of Puritan 
literature owed their existence to the union. Williams 
made the acquaintance of Cromwell and Milton, while he 
helped permanently to strengthen the interest of Vane in 

^ Hutchinson, History of MassachTuetts, ed. 1705, 1. 111. 
« Vol. I. Pt. II. Chap. VITT. 


PART the fortunes of the struggling settlements about Narragan- 
^^' J sett bay. With these men Williams joined in a common 
effort to advance the cause of liberty both within the 
Westminster Assembly and outside. He published at this 
time his Bloody Tenent of Persecution and Qtteries of Highest 
Consideration^ in which his views on the subject of soul 
liberty for the first time found full expression. The reply 
of the Massachusetts Puritans to all utterances and move- 
ments of this kind was made in part by the publication of 
the official account of the Antinomian controversy under the 
title of A Short Story of the Rise^ Reign and Ruine of the 
AntinomiansA In this they tried to show by a conspicuous 
example the baleful effects of dissent, and of its attempted 

After the death of Miantonomi and the release of the 
Gortonists from imprisonment in Massachusetts, the Narra- 
gansett chiefs, Pessicus and Canonicus, as we have seen, in 
April, 1644, signed a paper declaring that they put their 
tribe and the entire Narragansett country under the pro- 
tection of the king of England. In the course of 1645 
Gorton, Holden, and Greene appeared in London for the 
purpose of securing a hearing before the commissioners in 
reference to the conflicting claims to the Narragansett 
country. In this they were successful, and Holden re- 
turned to New England with an order that they should be 
permitted hereafter to dwell quietly at Shawomet, and that 
the region about Narragansett bay lay wholly outside the 
bounds of the Massachusetts patent. The commissioners also 
required that the Gortonists should be given free passage 
through Massachusetts on their return. This favor was 
grudgingly conceded by the authorities at Boston.* 

This message at once set the general court of Massachu- 
setts deliberating over the question, whether or not it was 
under the jurisdiction of the commissioners and should give 
them their title. As usual, the ministers were consulted, who 
expressed themselves as opposed to acknowledging the title 

^ Adams, Antinomianifim in MassachusettB Bay, Pablications of the 
Prince Society. 

s Arnold, L 190, 103 ; Winthrop, IL 342 «l teg. 


of the commissioners or the right of hearing appeals which it CHAP, 
implied. They would not submit to hearings in England 
^^ further than in a way of justification of our proceedings 
questioned, from the words of the patent." "No appeals 
or other ways of interrupting our proceedings do lie against 
us." If the parliament should be less inclinable to them than 
this implied, then the colonists " must wait upon Providence " 
for the preservation of their just liberties.^ 

At the time when Gorton was making his appeal to Eng- 
land, Dr. Child and his Presbyterian friends were attempt- 
ing to do the same. Massachusetts, as has been shown in a 
previous volume, not only denied their right to do this, but 
did all that she could to thwart them. The sharp contro- 
versy which was then in progress between the Presbyterians 
and the Independents in Old as well as New England, and 
the fact that for the time the Presbyterians controlled par- 
liament, doubtless increased the natural reserve of the Puri- 
tan colonies. But the combined efforts of Gorton and the 
Presbyterians forced the colony to depart somewhat from 
its proud isolation and from the declaration of principles 
which has just been referred to. Massachusetts appointed 
Edward Winslow as her agent in England to assist in coun- 
teracting their plans.* Winslow went fully commissioned 
and instructed, both as to the claims which Massachusetts 
advanced to Shawomet as the consequence of Pumham's 
submission, and concerning the nature of Massachusetts 
government as the leaders of the colony understood it to 
be. It was Winslow's second journey across the ocean as 
agent, and from it he never returned to New England. 

When, in 1647, Winslow arrived in England, Gorton had 
been there for more than a year. He had just published his 
Simplicitie's Defence^ which contained his account of his 
own conduct and his arraignment of Massachusetts. To 
this Winslow issued a reply under the title of Hypocrisie 
Unmasked^ and this he dedicated to the commissioners. 
He requested them never to permit Gorton to return to 
New England. He also urged that they should not enter- 
tain appeals from New England, and that they would con- 

1 Winthrop, IL 844, 346. * Ibid. 869^^7. 


PART firm Plymouth in the right which by patent it claimed to 
^ Shawomet. Though these demands were not granted, the 
commissioners declared that they did not intend to encour- 
age appeals and would not limit the due and legal freedom 
of any of the New England colonies. As the result of a 
hearing the commissioners rejected the appeal to interfere 
authoritatively on behalf of the Gortonists. They also ig- 
nored the arguments of Massachusetts which had their origin 
in the alleged heresy of their opponents. Pending an ascer- 
tainment on the spot of the boundaries of the disputed tract, 
they contented themselves with an injunction that the Gor- 
tonists be permitted to live where they had settled, so long 
as they conducted themselves peaceably.^ Under this guar- 
anty Gorton returr.ed in 1648 to New England, and was 
allowed without molestation to pass through Massachusetts 
to the Narragansett country. 

These were the only dealings of importance which the 
New England colonies had with the authorities created by 
parliament until after 1650. They concerned chiefly the 
Narragansett settlements. This reveals the fact that those 
settlements, largely because of the conflicting territorial 
claims which had arisen to the country, were a centre of 
disturbance that might at any time call for the interference 
of the home government. They furnished one of the ave- 
nues by which the crown and its officials were likely to gain 
access to New England. 

The outbreak of the Civil War, on the other hand, fur- 
nished the occasion for the renewal of disturbances in Mary- 
land. The enemies of the Calverts availed themselves of 
the precarious hold which, as Catholics, Lord Baltimore and 
his family in those disturbed times had upon their prov- 
ince, to advance their claims. The conflicts which resulted 
brought the affairs of Lord Baltimore repeatedly before the 
home government, in the form of suits before the admiralty 
court and in many other ways. The sympathies of the 
family were naturally with the king, and Governor Leonard 
Calvert, who returned on a visit to England in 1643, was 
charged with having received a commission from the king 

1 Winthrop, H. 387-890, 802L 


at Oxford to seize ^ the persons and ships of the parliamen- CHAP, 
tarians. But their position made it necessary that the Cal- ^' 
verts should be very cautious, and they were careful to 
avoid cooperation with either one of the English parties. 
Their province, however, was not saved by this caution 
from serious disturbances, in the course of which the pro- 
prietors' authority was for a time suspended. 

Early in 1644, while Governor Calvert was still absent, 
Richard Ingle came with a merchant ship to load at Saint 
Mary's. Because of alleged treasonable utterances of his 
against the king. Ingle was arrested. But Thomas Corn- 
wallis soon interfered, caused the release of Ingle, and the 
latter sailed away, though without paying his debts. For 
the assistance which they rendered him, Cornwallis was 
fined and another councillor was removed from oflBce. The 
next year Ingle appeared again, and offered security for his 
appearance to answer all charges against him. But again 
he got clear, this time taking Cornwallis to Europe with 
him. Cornwallis never again returned to Maryland.^ 

Meantime Claiborne, who had been appointed treasurer 
of Virginia by the king, was secretly trying to recover 
possession of Kent island. The province was full of dis- 
quiet. Governor Calvert returned in the autumn of 1644, 
and attempted to restore peace. But before anything de- 
cisive had been accomplished Ingle appeared again, this time 
with authority of some sort from parliament, which he said 
was embodied in letters of marque. He also brought goods 
to the value of £200 which belonged to Cornwallis. These 
Ingle sold and pocketed the returns. He then joined with 
Claiborne in an attack on Saint Mary's. Governor Cal- 
vert was forced to flee to Virginia. The province fell 
into the hands of the insurgents and remained under their 
control for two years. Cornwallis's plantation, the finest 
in Maryland, was plundered, and many other outrages were 
committed. In 1646 the affairs of Ingle and his relations 
with Cornwallis came before the house of Lords, and an 
ordinance passed that house to make void Baltimore's pat- 
ent. There is no proof, however, that it passed the Com- 

1 Md. Arch., Proceedings of Council, 1636>1667, 164. * Ibid. 100-167. 

TOL. UI — I 



FART mons. But Ingle, it seems, appeared before a committee of 
J parliament in opposition to the continuance of government 
in the hands of Baltimore. Baltimore, however, again re- 
covered possession of the province, and after the death of 
his brother Leonard, the elements of opposition were for a 
time quieted by the appointment, in 1648, of a Protestant, 
William Stone, as governor. Thus affairs rested until the 
authorities in England seriously took in hand the settlement 
of relations between the colonies at large and the new gov- 

With the execution of the king and the establishment of 
the Commonwealth came a great change in the organization 
of the executive boards in England. Then it was that the 
spirit of the innovators fully triumphed. The privy council, 
with the office of secretary of state, had already disappeared. 
The council of state, consisting of about forty members, was 
now created by parliament and intrusted with executive 
power. As the standing executive council, subject to peri- 
odical renewal,^ it bore a relation to the whole sphere of 
administration, the colonies included, which was similar to 
that of the privy council. It was, however, immediately 
responsible to the parliament, and, so long as the Rump 
Parliament existed, the relations between it and the council 
of state were especially close. But the most striking change 
which followed the advent of the Commonwealth was the 
increase in the number and activity of committees. The 
parliament had several standing committees, those of foreign 
affairs, on Irish and Scotch affairs, on America, on trade and 
plantations. Special and more temporary committees were 
appointed to consider the affairs of Newfoundland, of the 
Somers islands, and later the affairs of Jamaica; to purchase 
supplies for the fleet, to specially consider trade and naviga- 
tion. The council of state, which was made up chiefly of 
members of parliament, also did its business largely through 
committees, standing and special. Among its committees 
appear that on the admiralty, on trade, on plantations, on 

^ The couDcil of state was appointed under successive commissions, at 
first for a year and later for six months. By the close of 1653 eight commis- 
sions had been issued. 


trade and foreign affairs, on trade, plantations and foreign CHAP, 
affairs combined. The business of the latter, which was ^ ^' 
active during the later months of the Commonwealth, was 
voluminous. On a few occasions, in 1650 and 1651, the 
whole council, or any five of them, was declared to be a 
committee for trade and plantations. 

With the establishment of the Protectorate, at the close of 
1653, the title council of state was dropped and that of lord 
protector*8 council was assumed, to be changed later to privy 
council. With the collapse of the Protectorate and during 
the few months before the Restoration the name council 
of state reappears. But under the Protectorate the com- 
mittee system was somewhat curtailed, and did not again 
reach the dimensions which it assumed during the Common- 
wealth.^ Under the Protectorate the council seems to have 
made use of special committees, as did the privy council 
under the monarchy, and probably in greater number; but 
they did not keep separate minutes and therefore in their 
case business seems more closely bound up with that of the 
council. The executive or monarchical element in the con- 
stitution was again being strengthened. Parliament again 
fell relatively into the background. A colonial policy was 
developed, which was the result of the thought and activity 
of Cromwell and his immediate advisers. This phenomenon 
was in marked contrast to the mere drifting of the previous 
decade, and serves to bring the Protectorate into intelligible 
relations with early Stuart and Elizabethan times on the one 
side and with the period of the Restoration on the other. 

The news of the execution of the king was received in 
some of the colonies, notably in Virginia and Barbadoes, 
with declarations of abhorrence or preparations for revolt. 
In the former province there was naturally a considerable 
body of colonists who sympathized with the cause of parlia- 
ment. But the volume of loyalist feeling, which was always 
strong, had been increased by the arrival from England of 

^The xecord of these changes, with the minutes of the most important 
committees of the Commonwealth, appears in State Papers Domestic, Inter- 
regnum, 11 Vols. The general nature of the system is explained by the 
editor, Mrs. Green, in the volume for 1649-1660. 


PART refugees of the Cavalier party, whose social rank might easily 
V J gfive them greater influence than their numbers would entitle 
them to. In Accomac the royalists were especially strong, and 
their presence led to action of a most interesting character, 
when the body of the province resolved to submit to parlia- 
ment and keep the peace. This in the end proved to be the 
feeling of the mass of Virginia people. It was felt that the 
province could not afford to become involved in the conflict. 
The assembly of Virginia, however, at first forbade the use 
of argument in any form in defence of the execution of the 
king. In the earnestness of their loyalty they acknowl- 
edged the young Charles Stuart as the rightful successor to 
the throne, and a commission ^ for a new council was secured 
from him. In Barbadoes, under the lead of the proprietor. 
Lord Willoughby of Parham, the new government in 
England was defied, the young prince was acknowledged as 
king, conventicles were suppressed, supporters of the Com- 
monwealth were banished or otherwise punished, freedom of 
trade with all nations was claimed, and it was charged that 
a plan was entertained to make the colony ^ a free state. In 
Antigua and the Bermudas ^ similar conditions existed, ac- 
companied in the case of the latter colony by much internal 
strife. Because of misgovernment and an inclination to in- 
vite over Charles Stuart, the governmental powers of the 
Somers islands company were temporarily suspended in 1653. 
These events show that in colonies whose sentiments were 
strongly royalist the tendency toward independent action was 
strengthened by the Civil War and the establishment of the 
Commonwealth. Among their population the spirit of revolt 
against Puritan control was strong, and it was made stronger 
by the arrival of fugitive Cavaliers. It was for this reason 
that the condition of these colonies soon demanded the atten- 
tion of the Cromwellian government, while New England 
received the most friendly assurances from the Protector. 

^ Hening, Statutes, I. 359; Neill, Virginia Carolorum, 211. See similar 
action by Northampton county, W. and M. Coll. Quarterly, I. 189. 

^Colonial Papers, Nov. 20, 22, 1650; June 30, 1652; June 26 and 28, 
1653 ; Oct. 7, 1656. 

» Ihid. Sept. 10-19, 1660; March 17, 1651 ; Sept. 7, 1658. 


Early in 1649 the condition of Virginia, as well as that of CHAP, 
the other colonies to which reference has been made, came 
before the council of state. The mention of Virginia almost 
necessarily suggested Maryland, and, had there been danger 
of its being forgotten, the persistent remonstrances of Ingle 
would have made such neglect difficult, if not impossible. It 
was before the committee of the admiralty, of which Sir 
Henry Vane, the younger, was the head, that the affairs of 
all these colonies came; while a committee of merchants who 
were engaged in American trade stood ready with informa- 
tion and advice. A letter of inquiry from the council of 
state to Governor Berkeley in reference to the banishment of 
the Puritans of Mr. Harrison's flock from Nansemond county 
furnishes an express reminder, if such were needed, that re- 
ligion also played its part among the issues.^ On December 
28, 1649, and again on the 9th of the following January, 
the admiralty committee listened to Maurice Thompson, 
Benjamin Worsley, William Penoyer, and other merchants, 
and considered their representations, along with other papers 
relating to Virginia and Maryland. The wisdom of appoint- 
ing a commission to reorganize the government of Virginia 
on the basis of fidelity to the Commonwealth became at once 
apparent, and the attorney general was asked to draft a grant 
in which the ancient limits of Virginia should be expressed. 
This seemed to imperil the existence of Maryland. But 
Lord Baltimore was active, and during a succession of hear- 
ings and postponements the affairs of that province were 
kept at intervals before the council and committee till the 
beginning of May. Then Mr. Worsley was ordered to go to 
the attorney general and ask him for the patent or commis- 
sion relating to Virginia which he was requested to prepare. 
Three weeks later we are informed that the draft of an act 
for the settlement of the affairs of Virginia was to be pre- 
sented to the council of state and by it to be laid before par- 

But before further steps affecting Virginia were taken, 
reports came that Barbadoes was being put into a posture 

^ Colonial Papen, March 16, 1649, and the entries beginning October 11, 
1649. * Cal. State Papers, Dom., May 21, 1649. 


PART of defence against the Commonwealth. The attitude of 
^^^ Virginia also seemed so hostile, that ships were allowed to 
go thither, only on their masters and owners giving bond 
that, while there, they would not place themselves under the 
command of any fort or castle or in any way serve the 
enemies of the Commonwealth. On August 30 the com- 
mittee of admiralty ordered Dr. Walker to take the papers 
concerning Barbadoes into consideration and prepare a bill 
to be introduced into parliament for the prohibition of trade 
to that island. A plan was also to be reported to the coun- 
cil of state for an armed expedition to Barbadoes and the 
appointment of a commission for its regulation. Meanwhile 
all ships going thither were stayed, and somewhat later 
that order was extended to ships bound for the Caribbean 
islands, the Bermudas, and Virginia. A similar extension 
was also made of the provisions of the proposed bill, and 
before it was ready for introduction in parliament, it was 
considered by President Bradshaw, Lord Commissioner 
Lisle, the judges of admiralty, and others. The bill passed 
parliament, October 3, 1650.^ 

The act of 1650 prohibited trade with Barbadoes, Antigua, 
the Bermudas, and Virginia, because of their rebellious 
attitude toward the Commonwealth government in England. 
Though the provisions of the act were in their nature tem- 
porary and were intended to apply to only a few colonies, 
the declaration of power in the preamble was general. In 
the clearness and fulness of its statement of the right of 
parliament to legislate for the colonies it is comparable with 
the acts of 1696 and 1766 relating to the dependencies and 
to that of 1719 relating to Ireland. Its language was : 
"Whereas the islands and other places in America, where 
any English are planted, are and ought to be subject to and 
dependent upon England and both ever since the planting 
thereof, have been and ought to be subject to such laws, 
orders and regulations as are and shall be made by the 

^ Colonial Papers, entries from June to October, 1660 ; Scobell, Acts and 
Ordinances, IL 132 ; Hazard, Hist. Colls. I. 569, 636. The proceedings in 
parliament are in Commons Journals, VL 474, 478. The bill, after being 
twice read, was referred to the committee of the navy, from which com- 
mittee it was reported back for final passage. 


parliament." It declared those who had been concerned in CHAP, 
acts of rebellion to be traitors and forbade them to have . ^' 
commercial relations with any part of the world. It also 
empowered the council of state to send ships to any of the 
plantations aforesaid, commission such persons as it saw fit, 
and through them enforce the obedience of all who stood 
out in opposition to parliament. Pardons might also be 
granted, and the said colonies preserved in peace until the 
parliament should take further order. Under the author- 
ity of this act Sir George Ayscue, Daniel Searle, and Captain 
Michael Pack were appointed commissioners for reducing 
the island of Barbadoes, with additional instructions for the 
reduction of the other colonies which were found to be 
in revolt. Virginia and, as the event proved, Maryland 
were thus included in the general scope of the commission.^ 
Four men of war and three armed merchantmen were put 
under the command of Ayscue for the expedition. After 
some resistance, followed by an agreement with Lord Wil- 
loughby, the island was reduced to submission. Searle, 
after the departure of Ayscue, became governor. At the 
time of the reduction Colonel Thomas Modyford, a Barba- 
dian, member of the governor's council and afterwards 
himself governor, made the interesting suggestion that the 
island might be represented in parliament.^ As parliament 
was then admitting representatives from Scotland and 
Ireland, the suggestion was timely, if ever it could be 
so. But the articles of surrender were approved by parlia- 
ment, and Modyford's idea, after appearing for a moment 
on the surface of things, straightway sank again into the 
Umbo of the impractical. 

In connection with the reduction of Virginia, William 
Claiborne found his last and greatest opportunity. Ingle 
had failed by his complaints to convince the parliament that 
Lord Baltimore's powers of government should be withdrawn. 
But what Ingle failed to do Claiborne accomplished. He 
secured an appointment with Captain Robert Dennis, Richard 

1 Colonial Papers, February 1, 1651, and succeeding entries ; especially the 
entries for June and July, November and December, 1661, and that for Feb- 
TOAiy 18, 1662. * Ibid. February 16, 1662, August, 1662. 


PART Bennett, and Thomas Stagg,^ as a member of the commission 
for reducing Virginia to obedience.* In the instructions the 
designation of Virginia was broadened into ^^ all the planta- 
tions in the Bay of Chesapeake." This brought Maryland 
within the purview of the commissioners. As provided in 
the instructions which were given to Ayscue, they might use 
force, if it was necessary, in the reduction of the provinces, 
going so far as to raise troops in the colonies at large for the 
purpose. They were to administer the engagement of fidel- 
ity to the Commonwealth of England, and were to proclaim 
as in force in the colonies the several acts of parliament 
against the king and house of Lords, as well as those for the 
subscription of the engagement and for the repeal of the acts 
which required the use of the Book of Common Prayer. 
Those who had taken the engagement might be elected bur- 
gesses and hold office. The commissioners should cause all 
writs and processes to run in the name of the Keepers of 
Liberties of England. Bennett and Claiborne, the only two 
commissioners who concerned themselves much with either 
Virginia or Maryland, were not slow to take possession of 
Lord Baltimore's province. Provision was made in the 
commission that, if Ayscue should finish his affairs in Bar- 
badoes in time, and arrive at Virginia while the other com- 
missioners were occupied there, he should take his place at 
the head of the board. But he did not appear. It was also 
provided that if, for any reason. Captain Dennis — who 
seems to have been intrusted with the command of the 
vessels — should be unable to act. Captain Edmund Curtis 
should take his place. As Dennis and Stagg perished before 
reaching Chesapeake waters, Curtis acted there in the place 
of the former, and in conjunction with Bennett and Clai- 

^ It is conjectured that this was the same person whose presence in Boston 
Harbor, in 1644, has already been referred to. See Winthrop, II. 222 n. 

^ Col. Papers, Sept. 26, 1661. The instructions are printed in full in Md. 
Arch., Proceedings of Council, 1636-1667, 266, and in the Va. Mag. of Hist. 
XI. 38-40. Stagg, as a merchant and in other capacities, had been connected 
with Virginia since Harvey^s administration; while Bennett was a well- 
known Puritan, who, after long service as a burgess and a councillor, had 
left Virginia with his co-religionists who, in 1648, settled Providence, later 
Annapolis, in Maryland. 


borne.^ The fact that, a few years before, Bennett as a CHAP, 
fugitive Puritan from Virginia had been received and enter- 
tained by Maryland, seems not to have operated as a 
restraint upon him in his treatment of the latter province. 

The arrival of the act of parliament of October, 1650, 
prohibiting trade with the colonies which showed signs of 
revolt, though no special provision, except the sending of 
the commissioners, was made by the English government to 
enforce the embargo, had greatly exasperated the ruling 
class in Virginia. We are told that Governor Berkeley 
exerted himself vigorously to arouse the people to resist 
the parliament, and that he called its leaders ^^ bloody 
tyrants." He assured himself of the support of a large part 
of the militia ; he sought the aid of the Indians. With the 
support of the clergy and the help of stories to the effect that 
the royal cause would soon triumph again in England, the 
governor sought to bring the population of Virginia to 
the point of resistance. Under his leadership the entire 
legislature in a spirited address^ repelled the charge that they 
were rebels or traitors, and spoke of the act of 1650 as if it 
made slaves of them. They were quick to make an express 
reserve of the right to resist by force any law which was 
intended to take away their lives or substance. If the 
expenditures which the company had made on behalf of the 
province in its infancy — and which were now cited as a 
justification for a stricter obedience — were to be used to 
make slaves of themselves or their posterity, they de- 
clared that they would have avoided such gifts as they 
would shun poisonous serpents. As to allegiance, they 
did not conceive that it was due to every faction which 
might possess itself of Westminster Hall. "In a con- 
dition so dubious and uncertain, ... we desire them to 
permit us, simple men, to take leave to follow the perspicuous 
and plaine pathes of God and our laws, and that they would 

^ Colonial Papers, Sept 26, 1651. Both Dennis and Stagg were cast 
away in the ship John^ on their voyage to Virginia. Ibid. Nov. 9, 1652. 

* This declaration was made by the general assembly in March, 1651, but 
it Toiced the sentiments which had prevailed in Virginia ever since the out- 
break of the Civil War. Va. Mag. of Hist. I. 75-81 ; XI. 37. 


PART be pleased to remember that good charitable Axiome in them, 
^ ^^' J That none should be condemned till they were first Heard." 

Respecting the details of the surrender of Virginia to 
the commissioners of parliament we have little knowledge. 
When the commissioners, with their two armed vessels, ar- 
rived in Virginia, Berkeley is said to have collected a body 
of about one thousand armed militia at Jamestown. As 
usual, he blustered, calling the commissioners, or those 
whom they represented, pirates and robbers, and predicting 
that Virginia would soon be subjected to the control of a 
company of grasping merchants. But the commissioners, 
by circulating their commission, a declaration, and other 
mild statements concerning their errand, soon counteracted 
the influence of Berkeley's statements. Moreover, resist- 
ance to the power which had brought Charles I to the 
block was something which the governor and council of 
Virginia, even with the Cavalier backing which they had, 
were far from being prepared to undertake. Therefore 
*^ mutual engagements" passed between the commissioners 
and the governor and council. The militia were sent home 
and a call was issued for a meeting of the general assembly. 
This occupied the time from January till March, 1652. 

When the general assembly met, the submission of the 
province was made without a struggle or the shedding of a 
drop of blood. The articles ^ of surrender were signed on 
the 12th of March. They consisted of two parts, one 
containing an agreement with the province as represented 
in the general assembly, and the other with the governor 
and councillors, the object of the whole being to make the 
change as easy as was practicable. The submission was 
declared to be a voluntary act, and not the result of con- 
quest. The former government was declared to be at an 
end, but, so far as it was possible for the commissioners to 
do so, the property rights of the colonists, the succession of 
assemblies, and the preservation of the former limits of the 
province were guarantied. It was declared that Virgfinia 
should be free from all taxes except those levied under the 
authority of its assemblies, and that no forts or garrisons 

^ Hening, Statutes, L 8G3-S6S. 


should be maintained in the province without its consent. CHAP. 
Freedom of trade should be enjoyed, subject to the laws of 
the Commonwealth. The use of the Book of Common 
Prayer, with the exception of the passages which related 
to the kingship, was to be permitted for one year ; and in 
fact its use was never forbidden. 

For the ease of the governor and council it was agreed 
that they might be excused for a year from taking the 
engagement of fidelity to the Commonwealth, and during 
that time they should not be censured if they prayed for 
or spoke well of the king in their own houses or to friends. 
Their property should be secure, the debts due them should 
be paid and they should have liberty, if they chose, to dis- 
pose of their estates and leave the country. An act of in- 
demnity, covering all that had been done in support of the 
royal cause, was issued under the seals of the commissioners, 
and aU who refused to submit to the government of the 
Commonwealth were given a year in which to remove from 
the province. 

Among the articles of agreement with the assembly were 
two, the principle of which the English government never 
accepted. Those were the two which set forth the claim 
on behalf of the assembly to the exclusive right of taxation, 
and the claim to the restoration of the original boundaries 
of the province. We know that Lord Baltimore ^ submitted 
arguments in England against the latter proposition and in 
defence of the integrity of his own province, arguments 
which were forced from him as well by the doings of Ben- 
nett and Claiborne in Maryland as by the insistence of the 
Virgfinians on the restoration of their former bounds. In 
bis statement on the subject, Baltimore called attention 
exclusively to the advantages which might be supposed to 
come to England from the existence of two provinces rather 
than one in the region of the Chesapeake. The caution 
with which he spoke at the same time betrayed a full sense 
of the weakness of his position as a Catholic proprietor. 
But the proposal to strengthen royalist Virginia by adding 
Maryland to it could scarcely meet with the approval of 
1 Hd. Arch., Proceedings of Council, 1636-1667, p. 280. 


Cromwell and his advisers. They might be willing to sus- 
pend the governmental powers of Baltimore, but the res- 
toration of his territory to Virginia would be decidedly 
inconsistent with the policy and interests of the Protector. 
It was even less likely to find favor with him than with the 
Stuarts themselves. 

In Virginia itself events which occurred immediately after 
the submission to the parliamentary commissioners indicated 
that this was not to involve the direct appointment of the 
officials of the province by the English government, though 
it is almost necessary to suppose that in the case of impor- 
tant officers the choice of the assembly was approved by the 
Protector and his council. About a month after the sub- 
mission a new assembly was elected.^ This body, together 
with the commissioners of parliament, after long debate de- 
cided that Richard Bennett should be governor and William 
Claiborne secretary. A council was also designated, and at 
the head of the list of its members stood the names of Cap- 
tain John West and Colonel Samuel Mathews. The ap- 
pointment of other officers was for the time being intrusted 
to the governor and commissioners, but it was declared that 
hereafter their choice should belong to the burgesses as rep- 
resentatives of the people of the province. It was specially 
stated that commissioners of the counties should be selected 
in this manner. As had previously been the case, the gov- 
ernor and council were to have seats in the general assembly, 
while it was also provided that they should execute the laws 
and administer justice in accordance with the laws of Eng- 
land, the instructions from parliament, and the acts of the 

We are informed that these acts were submitted to par- 
liament and that they were considered; but of decisive action 
either for or against them, the extant records afford no evi- 
dence. Their effect, however, so far even as the executive 
was concerned, was to transfer the centre of gravity more 
completely from England to Virginia. The general assembly 
had been made the source of power, holding as it did both 
the right of appointment and that of legislation. A change 

1 Hening, I. 371. 


had been wrought in Virginia government similar to that CHAP, 
which Fendall, a few years later and perhaps in imitation of ^' 
this very event, attempted in Maryland. The form which 
Virginia now assumed was the same as that under which 
West Jersey existed at a still later time, and was much the 
same as that of the corporate colonies of New England. 
It meant a very large degree of independence, and, as a 
phenomenon, was to reappear when, at the beginning of the 
Revolution, one province after another dispensed with its 
royal executive and organized government under officials of 
its own choice. 

That the change met with the approval of the great body 
of Virginians there can be no doubt. The royalists who 
otherwise would have stood by the old executive favored it, 
because it gave them the largest possible independence of 
that parliament and protectorate which had been built up on 
the ruins of the kingship. The minority who were in 
sympathy with parliament would naturally incline to a large 
degree of colonial independence. Bennett, the Puritan, and 
Claiborne, the trader and adventurer, would find their inter- 
ests best served by a settlement such as this. A Virginia 
thus organized would be quite as likely to support their plans 
in reference to Maryland, as it would be were it placed 
under the continuous and direct control of parliament. 
Under this constitution, with Bennett as governor, and, after 
his return to England, with Edward Digges and Samuel 
Mathews as deputy governors, Virginia continued peaceful 
for the next eight years. In 1658 a controversy arose 
between the burgesses and the governor and council over the 
right of the latter to dissolve the assembly. The burgesses, 
notwithstanding some threats on the part of the council 
to refer the dispute to the Protector, maintained their 
claim to exclusive control over their sessions, and at last 
the council quietly acquiesced.^ Under this system of con- 

1 Hening, L 409 et seq., has printed a part of the proceedings of this 
xemarkable assembly. The Journal in fall exists among the copies of 
Aneient Records in the Library of Congress. At the beginning of the session 
a letter was received from the Protector's council announcing the death of 
Oliver and the soocession of his son Richard. Virginia was commanded to 


PART sistent self government Virginia pursued its uneventful 
^^' J course till news came from Europe of the approach of the 

When the commissioners, having received the submission 
of Virginia, reached Maryland, they required that all the in- 
habitants of the province should subscribe the engagement 
to the Commonwealth, and that all writs, warrants, and pro- 
cesses should run in the names of the Keepers of the Liberties 
of England. But these requirements necessarily involved 
results more important than the performance of the same 
acts in Virginia. Though Maryland had been peacefully 
disposed and its proprietor had striven to maintain a neutral 
attitude toward the contending parties in England, Bennett 
and Claiborne were now proceeding to take from him his 
rights of government and to place the province directly under 
the control of parliament and the council of state. The re- 
ligion of the proprietor and of a part of the colonists, the 
large powers which had been bestowed in the Maryland char- 
ter, and the charge that the king had been misled in making 
the grant, were used as arguments to justify the step which 
was now to be taken. A few months later they were urged 
by Bennett and Samuel Mathews in England. 

But, since Governor Stone and the other Maryland ofiS- 
cials were bound by oaths to the proprietor, they at first 
refused to obey the requirements of the commissioners. 
Governor Stone was therefore suspended by the commis- 

proclaim him and proceed with orderly goyemment. The burgesses, who 
appear to have acted throughout as a separate house, resolved to obey the 
letter. At their request Governor Mathews came to the house and, in the 
presence of the burgesses and council, confirmed their liberties, declaring 
that the power to elect officers was in the grand assembly, and saying that he 
would join in addressing the Protector to confirm their existing liberties. 
A committee, with Claiborne at its head, was chosen to frame an address to 
the Protector. During the session some controversy arose between the 
burgesses and the governor and council over the ** establishing of the gov- 
ernment,^* the exact nature of which does not appear. But the governor 
and council acquiesced till the pleasure of the Protector could be known. 
A strong feeling against lawyers was manifested among the burgesses, and 
one vote to eject them, i.e. probably to exclude them from practice, was 
I>assed. It was this assembly, also, which first passed the act levying 2s. 
per hogshead on the export of tobacco. 


sioners. A new council was named by them, of which CHAP. 
Robert Brooke was the leading member. The authority of 
the proprietor was then suspended by the enforcement of 
the command that the engagement should be taken to the 
Commonwealth, and that legal process should run in the 
name of the Keepers of the Liberties of England.^ Governor 
Stone remained out of office from March until June, 1652, 
the government of Virginia in the meantime being changed 
as already described and Bennett securing election as gov- 
ernor. As things were at that moment, the executives of 
Maryland and Virginia were fast becoming the same, and an 
important step was taking toward the union of the two 

But in June, on the return of the commissioners to Mary- 
land, an agreement^ was reached between them and Gov- 
ernor Stone, Secretary Hatton, and the leading councillors. 
According to this Stone and Hatton resumed the adminis- 
tration of the government in cooperation with the councillors 
who had been appointed by the commissioners. But the 
governor and others who had scruples on the subject were 
excused from taking the engagement, and continued to act 
under their oaths to Lord Baltimore until the pleasure of 
the English government should be known. Government 
was now administered in the name of the proprietor, but 
with express recognition of the Keepers of the Liberties 
of England. 

On the very day of the reinstatement of Governor Stone, 
a committee of Puritans from Providence — later Annapolis 
— with Commissioner Bennett at its head, was appointed to 
treat with the Susquehanna Indians.^ They were also to 
inquire into alleged abuses said to have been committed by 
Robert Vaughan, the commander of Kent island, and, if they 
saw cause, they might remove Vaughan from his office. In 
this affair the hand of Claiborne becomes clearly evident 
when, in the treaty which was soon concluded with the 
Susquehannas, the statement appears that Kent island and 
Palmer's island belonged to him. There is, however, no 

1 Md. Arch., Council Proceedings, 1636-1667, 271. 
* Ibid. 276, ^Ibid. 276,277. 


PART evidence that the charges against Yaughan came to a hear- 
ing, or that Claiborne attempted to exercise authority within 
the islands. 

Meantime, in the summer of 1652, the case of Lord 
Baltimore and his controversy with Virginia came up before 
parliament and the council of state in England. Samuel 
Mathews represented Virginia as its agent, and Lord Bal- 
timore pleaded his own case, using the arguments to which 
reference has already been made. We hear that the case 
was before the committee of parliament on petitions and 
before the committee of the navy, and that the latter body 
reported in favor of the validity of Baltimore's grant, 
though in their opinion the proprietor had done some things 
which were not conformable with the laws of England.^ 
For this reason the clause in the agreement with Virginia 
which provided for the restoration of the original bounds 
of that province was not confirmed. But the question of 
government within Maryland itself was not decided when, 
in April, 1653, the Long Parliament was dissolved. 

No further progress was made until after the institution 
of the Protectorate, at the close of 1653. Then Mathews 
renewed his petition ^ for the recognition of the government 
which the commissioners had set up in Virginia and Mary- 
land. Thereupon the council of state ordered that the papers 
connected with the dispute between Lord Baltimore and 
Virginia should be sent for ; that they should be considered 
by Mr. Strickland and Sir Anthony Ashley Cooper, who 
should call before them Edward Winslow, Colonel Mathews, 
and such others as were acquainted with the affairs of the 
provinces concerned, and that a report on the whole matter 
should be laid before the Protector. On January 12, 1654, 
at the request of Lord Baltimore and others, Cromwell wrote 
to Richard Bennett, the governor of Virginia, requiring him 
and the officials under him to refrain from all violent inter- 

1 Bozman, History of Maryland, 11. 692 et seq. Note on pp. 20-22 of the 
tract entitled ** Virginia and Maryland,** in Force, Tracts, II.; Colonial 
Papers, January 19, and December 29, 1668. 

3 Colonial Papers, December 29, 1663 ; Md. Arch., Proceedings of Council, 
1686-1667, 296. 


ference with the affairs of Maryland while the case was CHAP, 
pending before the council in England.^ ^' 

Baltimore, in spite of the precarious tenure by which at 
this time he held his rights, still had reason for some con- 
fidence. He therefore, early in 1654, not only ordered 
Governor Stone to continue the granting of land and the 
administration of the oath of fidelity in the proprietor's 
name, but to issue writs in his name as well.^ Three months 
later the Protectorate was proclaimed in Maryland. The 
object of this act, as shown by the language of the proc- 
lamation and by subsequent events, was to push the com- 
missioners one side and to place the colony, with its proprietor, 
in direct relations with the Lord Protector. Governor Stone 
also proclaimed a general pardon, excluding, however, from 
its benefits those whom, like Claiborne and Ingle, the pro- 
prietor had not pardoned, and those who had engaged in 
any combination, conspiracy, or rebellion against the person 
or rights of Lord Baltimore. Some of the leading Puritans, 
notably Robert Brooke, were also removed from the council. 
Finally, on July 4, 1654, the governor issued a proclamation 
in which the commissioners and those who had supported 
them were charged with leading the people away into 
rebellion against the proprietor, whereby their estates and 
lives were made liable to forfeiture at his pleasure.^ 

These acts were interpreted to mean an intention on the 
part of the proprietor and governor to nullify the settlement 
which had been made by the commissioners, and the suspicion 
roused the Puritan party within the province to action. The 
last proclamation revealed to them also the danger to which 
they were exposed. It was felt that the proprietor and 
governor were violating the spirit of the Protector's letter, 
which was to the effect that the statvs quo should be main- 

1 Letter CXXXIV, in Carlyle*8 Letters and Speeches of Cromwell, Am. 
ed., 1863. This letter was by some interpreted to mean no interference at 
all. To correct this idea and to clearly show that only violent interference 
was meant, Cromwell wrote again September 26, 1656, Letter CXL. 

« Md. Arch., I»roceedings of Council, 1636-1667, 298-300. The instructions 
of Baltimore at this juncture have not been preserved, but Stone^s proclama- 
tions preserve their substance. 

• Ibid. 804, 306, 308, 312 ; Bozman, XL 499, 500. 

VOL. Ill — X 


tained until the controversy could be settled in England. 
As soon as the proclamations concerning writs and the oath 
of fidelity had been issued, two petitions were sent to the 
commissioners, asking them to interfere. Bennett and Clai- 
borne in reply advised the petitioners to refuse obedience to 
the new orders.^ Nothing more was done until the issue of 
the proclamation in July, which seemed to imperil the 
property and lives of Lord Baltimore's opponents. 

At this juncture Bennett and Claiborne, claiming that their 
authority had been duly recognize^ by the Protector and 
that Stone was violating the terms of the ^^ settlement " and 
was disobedient to the Commonwealth, again visited Mary- 
land, and demanded that the governor should surrender his 
commission. This was on July 15, 1664. Stone at first 
made some show of resistance, but very soon agreed to meet 
the commissioners and discuss the matter. But, apparently 
before the meeting occurred. Stone was moved by fear of an 
attack from Virginia to make a full surrender of his authority 
into the hands of the commissioners.^ They then established 
a council, composed wholly of Puritans, to govern the colony. 
At its head was Captain William Fuller, and with him were 
associated Richard Preston, William Durand, Edward Lloyd, 
Leonard Strong, and others. They were empowered to call 
an assembly ; but from the body itself, as well as from the 
right to vote for its members, all Catholics should be ex- 

The assembly met at Patuxent on October 20, 1654,* and 
by sixteen members, one-half of whom were councillors. 
Preston, a councillor, was chosen speaker. Job Chandler and 
Thomas Hatton, who had been returned from Saint Mary's 
county, refused to sit because of their oath to the proprietor. 
They were dismissed as " delinquents " and a new election 
was held to fill their places. This assembly enacted many 

1 The petitions and reply are given in Virginia and Maryland, 28-33, 
Force, Tracts, II. 

s Md. Arch., Proceedings of Council, 1636-1667, 311-313 ; Virginia and 
Maryland, 38. 

• Md. Arch., Proceedings of Assembly, 1638-1664, 330-^356 ; Bozman, II. 


laws, introducing them with a solemn declaration that no CHAP, 
authority should be recognized in Maryland except such as 
proceeded directly from the Commonwealth of England. It 
was also enacted that the Roman Catholic religion should 
no longer be tolerated in the province. The proprietary 
rights of Lord Baltimore were further assailed by an enact- 
ment, that all who transported themselves into the province, 
by virtue of that fact alone had a right to occupy land with- 
out taking any oath to the proprietor. The records of the 
province were taken possession of by the new government 
and carried to Patuxent. 

On hearing of these events, Lord Baltimore wrote to Stone, 
blaming him for his weak submission.^ Luke Barber, in 
a letter to Cromwell, dated Maryland, April 13, 1655,^ states 
that Stone learned from Eltonhead, who had just come from 
England, that Baltimore's patent had not been taken from 
him. That Baltimore wrote to Stone about his submission is 
made certain by references in other papers; but the letter it- 
self has been lost. This roused Stone to action, and early 
in 1655 he resumed the duties of governor at Saint Mary's. 
He first succeeded in regaining possession of the records. 
He then fitted out an expedition of about two hundred men, 
on board twelve small vessels, and started with them to 
overawe the Puritans of Anne Arundel county. They 
secured the aid of a merchant ship, the Q-olden Lyon^ 
which lay at anchor in the Severn and was under the com- 
mand of Roger Heamans. Though Stone's friends after- 
ward affirmed that it was not his intention to attack the 
Puritans, but only to bring them to terms by an armed 
demonstration, as soon as they appeared Heamans opened 
fire on them. An engagement followed^ in which the force 
of Stone was completely defeated, March, 1655. Nearly all 

1 Bozman, II. 696, from Thurloe, State Papers, V. 486. 

s BozmaD, II. 686. 

* See accounts of this in Strong's Babylon's Fall ; in Langford*s Refata- 
tion of Babylon*8 Fall ; in Hammond*s Leah and Rachel. The last-named 
pamphlet is reprinted in Force, Tracts, III. See also Hammond versus 
Heamans, referred to in Colonial Papers, 1674-1660, 434. See also Boz- 
man, II. 618-629, and Barber*s letter, with the letter of Mrs. Stone, in 
Bozman, II. 686-698. 


PART who were not slain were taken prisoners. At first a general 
^^* proscription of the leaders was proposed, but, largely through 
the intercession of the women, all except four of the sur- 
vivors escaped with their lives. An order was issued that 
the estates of those who participated in the expedition should 
be sequestered; but in the end fines only were levied on the 
property of the accused, to meet the cost of the expedition. 

The Puritans were now left in control for several months, 
during which time the missionary operations among the 
Indians were brought to an end and the extension of Vir- 
ginia to its original bounds was much discussed. Meantime 
the struggle between the proprietor and his opponents was 
transferred to England. Petitions and statements from 
both sides were submitted to the Protector and his council. 
Both Bennett and Claiborne went to England and urged the 
claim of Virginia to the peninsula of Accomac. They sought 
to justify their course as commissioners, and to show that 
Lord Baltimore's policy, both in Maryland and at home, had 
been so opposed to that of England, that his grant should be 
declared forfeited. Baltimore, in his petition, laid stress on 
the alleged violent character of the proceedings of the com- 
missioners in Maryland.^ He secured a special reference of the 
case to Lords Whitelocke and Widrington, who reported to 
the council of state, and then the entire question was referred 
back to the committee of foreign plantations, with instruc- 
tions to speak with the parties and report what they thought 
fit to be done. This they did, but the report has been lost. 

So occupied were Cromwell and his council with weightier 
matters, that no decision of the Maryland dispute was ever 
reached by them. But without a positive verdict in its favor 
the Puritan regime in that province could not be maintained. 
It had been established as the result of encroachments which 
were begun when Maryland was brought within the purview 
of the commissioners. Therefore Baltimore, relying on the 
favor with which his claims were regarded in England, in 
July, 1656, appointed Josias Fendall* governor with the usual 

1 Colonial Papers, January 22, July 31, December 17, 1656 ; Thurloe, 
State Papers, V. 483. 

* Md. Arch., Proceedings of Council, 1636-1667, 823, 327. 


powers, and afterward sent over his brother, Philip Calvert, chap. 
to be secretary, to sit in the council, and to attend specially 
to the proprietor's interests. In November, 1657, an agree- 
ment ^ was concluded between Baltimore on the one side and 
Bennett and Mathews on the other, the terms of which were, 
that proprietary rights should be left to be determined as the 
Protector and his council should direct, that no lands should 
be forfeited because of opposition to the proprietor, that 
those who desired might remove from the province within 
one year, and that religious toleration should continue as it 
was before the last assembly. After brief opposition this 
agreement was accepted by the Puritans of the colony, and 
their officers yielded to those who had been appointed by the 
proprietor. Thus the long struggle between Maryland and 
Virginia was brought to an end, and Lord Baltimore to all 
intents and purposes was reinstated in his rights. 

But before this narrow and local issue had been adjusted 
events of wide-reaching importance had occurred in the West 
Indies. In connection with these events it became increas- 
ingly apparent that the government of the Protectorate was 
beginning to develop a colonial policy and that the suspen- 
sion of activity in those lines which had been necessitated by 
the Civil War was coming to an end. Indications of the 
same thing had already been given by the passage of the acts 
of 1650 and 1651 affecting trade and by the reduction of 
Barbadoes and Virginia. The colonizing, as well as the con- 
quering, energy of the new republic was also showing itself 
in Ireland, though under peculiar and exceptional conditions. 

That such an outburst of national energy as was indicated 
by the Puritan Revolution would be followed by an increase 
of colonial and maritime activity was almost inevitable. 
That Revolution, in fact, was a result of the abounding 
national life which began its pulsation when the new west- 
em world was discovered, when the remote East was opened 
up by European voyagers ; when, too, Greek and Roman 
antiquity had its new birth and the northern nations became 
more than ever impatient of papal control. It was genuinely 
Elizabethan in its origin. The revolutionary and destruc- 
1 Md. Arch., FroceedingB of Council, 1036-1667, 833. 



PART tive course which it took was due to the fact that Elizabeth 
J in her later days, and after her the Stuarts, had attempted 
to dam up the national energy in certain directions, until 
at last it burst through their obstructions and overwhelmed 
them in its flood. Cromwell, who was brought to the front 
by the Revolution, was akin to the Elizabethans in some of 
his ideals and most cherished policies. Puritanism empha- 
sized the national trend toward the Protestant faith. Under 
its lead the old antipathy toward Spain attained again its 
free and unobstructed course. As in the sixteenth century, 
80 now, this feeling was closely connected with the motives 
which led to colonization. They were all patriotic, commer- 
cial, and religious in character, the relative strength of these 
varying with each successive age ; and one of their chief 
objective points was to secure for England the largest 
possible share of that new world which Spain was too weak 
to grasp. 

But the Commonwealth first found itself involved in war 
with the Dutch, the outgrowth of its assertion of the right 
of search, of its claim to sovereignty over the four seas, of 
the commercial rivalry between the two nations which had 
been increasing since the beginning of the century.^ An in- 
cident of this war, which occurred near its close, was the de- 
spatch of Robert Sedgwick and John Leverett, with a few 
vessels, to dislodge the Dutch from New Netherland. Both 
Sedgwick and Leverett were residents of Massachusetts and 
they were instructed to secure recruits among the New Eng- 
land colonies for their expedition. Connecticut and New 
Haven, because of the peculiar hostility which they then 
felt toward the Dutch, quickly responded. Massachusetts 
followed with some reservation. But, just as the required 
number of troops were assured, in June, 1654, news came of 
the conclusion of peace between England and Holland. The 
enterprise against the Dutch was dropped ; but, to the grati- 
fication of the New Englanders, Sedgwick entered with a 
part of his vessels on a cruise against the French settlements 

to the eastward. La Tour's fort at St. John, the post at Port 
1 Gardiner, Letters and Papers relating to the First Dutch War, in Pubs, 
of Navy Recs. Soc. XIII ; Geddes, The Administration of John De Witt. 


Royal, and the fortified trading settlement at Penobscot CHAP, 
which years before the French had taken from the Plymouth 
people, were now without difiSculty reoccupied. Sedgwick 
then returned to England, and though he had temporarily 
broken the hold of the French on Acadia, the friendly rela- 
tions which then existed between the two powers were not 
disturbed by the event.^ 

Although at the outset it seemed not unlikely that hostile 
relations might develop between France and the English re- 
public, it soon became evident that it was for the interest of 
both Cromwell and Mazarin to keep the peace. The war be- 
tween France and Spain, which the negotiations of Westphalia 
had failed to conclude, was still in progress and was to con- 
tinue till the peace of the Pyrenees in 1659. This, combined 
with the internal strife occasioned by the Fronde, forced 
Mazarin to maintain a conciliatory attitude toward England 
and to overlook much which in itself was irritating. It also 
gave him a positive interest in furthering the projects of 
Cromwell against Spain, especially in so far as they con- 
cerned Dunkirk. This also was directly favorable to the 
commercial policy which England was then pursuing against 
the Dutch. 

As the war with Holland approached its close, the policy 
of Cromwell toward Spain began to assume definite form. 
Since the settlement of English colonies in the West Indies 
and the development of permanent trade relations there, a 
long series of outrages on British subjects and their vessels 
had been committed by the Spanish. These things they had 
done in their efforts to uphold the monopoly which had orig- 
inated in the papal grant, an act the binding force of which 
the English did not recognize, but called instead ^^ a certain 
ridiculous g^." As many of these losses had in recent 
years been suffered by those who were going to and from 
their own colonies, the grievance seemed in British eyes to 
be intensified. In fact war between the subjects of Spain 
and England had existed continuously in the West Indies 
for two generations, and now the question was, whether 

1 Thorloe, State Pftpera, L 418, 425, 583 ; Colonial Papeis, 1675-1676, Ad- 
denda, 89; PaUiey, n. 284. 


PART it should become open and outbreaking and involve the two 
states ^ in Europe as well. 

There is evidence that in 1651 or 1652 Cromwell began to 
consider the advisability of an attack on the Spanish power 
in the West Indies. John Cotton, an occasional correspond- 
ent of the general, suggested it. Roger Williams, when on 
his last visit to England, in conversations with Cromwell 
learned that he had ^^ strong thoughts of Hispaniola and 
Cuba." Thomas Gage, a converted Jesuit, who had lived 
many years in Spanish America and was unusually well in- 
formed, influenced Cromwell, by his arguments, to prove the 
wealth of the Spanish colonies and the inability of their 
inhabitants to defend them. Colonel Thomas Modyford, 
governor of Barbadoes and also a hater of the Spaniard, was 
consulted. While Gage recommended the seizure of some 
of the islands, Modyford urged the occupation of a part of 
the Spanish main. In the winter of 1654-1656 the advice 
thus given took practical shape in the expedition against 
Hispaniola under the command of Penn and Yenables. 
Edward Winslow, of Plymouth fame, accompanied this ex- 
pedition as one of the commissioners who were appointed to 
take charge of such experiments in colonization as might 
result; and like hundreds of others he succumbed to tropical 
disease before his errand was much more than begun. Owing 
to mismanagement, both on the part of the officials in 
England who provided the equipment and supplies for the 
troops and on the part of the commanders themselves, this 
effort failed of its immediate object. But a check was ad- 
ministered to illegal trade with the Dutch at Barbadoes, and 
the island of Jamaica, which was held by only a weak Spanish 
force, was occupied. War with Spain followed, but Jamaica 
remained permanently in the hands of its conquerors.^ 

^ Gardiner, Commonwealth and Protectorate, III ; Strong, in Am. Hist 
Bey. IV. 228; Beer, in Pol. Sci. Quarterly, XVI and XVII; Milton's Prose 
Works, Bohn's Ed. U. 833; Carlyle, Letters and Speeches of Cromwell, 
Speech V. 

« Gardiner, op, cit. ; Strong, op, cit, ; Firth, Narrative of General Ven- 
ables ; Granville Penn, Memorials of Admiral Sir WiUiam Penn, II. Ch. V. ; 
Thurloe, State Papers, II. 260 ; III. 69, 62 ; Pubs, of Narr. Club, VL 286 ; 
Long, History of Jamaica, I. 221. 


The conquest of Jamaica immediately raised questions chap. 
which for a time threatened to modify seriously the fortunes ^ ^' j 
of the New England colonies. The necessity for peopling 
the island was imperative, for only in that way could it be 
made English and preserved against successful Spanish 
attack. To the mind of Cromwell it apparently seemed easy 
to transfer a body of colonists from one part of the domin- 
ions to another ; and something at least to be ventured, if 
by means of it the cause of English Protestantism could be 
strengthened. The policy of the nation in Ireland was just 
then making it familiar with wholesale removals of a subject 
people even from its ancestral home. Cromwell regarded 
the New Englanders as an exceptionally valuable body of 
colonists. Wherever they might settle, a society after his 
own heart was sure to develop. But both the climate and 
the soil of New England were rugged and inhospitable. 
For a period, also, after the emigration thither had been 
checked by the outbreak of the Civil War, times had seemed 
hard to the colonists, though after a few years prosperity re- 
vived. With it came contentment, interrupted though it 
was by now and then a hard season. 

But during the interval of depression Cromwell had re- 
ceived from his New England correspondents hints of a will- 
ingness to remove to some more inviting country. This 
feeling seems to have been especially strong in the colony 
of New Haven, which at the time was planning a settlement 
on the Delaware. In. that colony, especially at Guilford, 
were ministers and magistrates who, either directly or 
through Samuel Desborough, were in communication with 
Cromwell. Letters also on the subject were now and 
then exchanged with friends in other colonies. John Win- 
throp, Jr., and Roger Williams exchanged views about it. 
Hugh Peters, as usual, interested himself, though in Eng- 

Cromwell had already suggested the removal of some 
of the New Haven people to Ireland and their settlement 
near Galway. But the plan to which he soon after committed 

1 Strong in Report of Am. Hist Assoc., 1898, p. 70; Conn. Hist Colls, 
m. 818 ; 4 Mass. HUt. CoU. VI. 115, 201. 


himself much more fully was the wholesale removal of New 
Englanders to Jamaica. In the autumn of 1655 he sent 
Daniel Gookin to New England with special instructions to 
lay before the colonists, especially those of New Haven, the 
attractiveness of Jamaica as a place of settlement and his 
desire to plant there a body of God's people. If a sufiSciently 
large number would remove, land and a place of settlement 
should be assigned under most favorable conditions. The 
churches should be protected and large privileges of self- 
government be enjoyed. But Cromwell reserved the riglit 
of appointing the governor, which would have placed the 
colonists under a provincial form of government. This of 
itself would have operated as a deterrent to many of the 
New Englanders. But before Gookin was able to deliver 
his message, news had arrived of the sickness which prevailed 
among the troops in Jamaica and of the generally unhealthy 
conditions which existed there. The report had come from 
Major Sedgwick, who, after his return to England, had been 
sent with supply ships to the West Indies, and from Bar- 
badoes had followed the army to Jamaica. His letters, espe- 
cially to England, sufficiently revealed the despair which 
there existed among the troops. General Fortescue, Thomas 
Gage, and presently Sedgwick himself, died at their posts. 
This convinced the great body of the colonists that the plan 
of removal, extremely doubtful at best, must prove ruinous 
if attempted under such conditions. The general court of 
Massachusetts firmly, though in conciliatory phrase, declined 
the offer of the Protector. New Haven sent an agent to 
Jamaica to investigate, and the town of New Haven seemed 
inclined to accept, but the general court refused its consent. 
Plymouth and Connecticut took no official action, and the 
invitation was probably not extended to Rhode Island. 
Gookin, therefore, had to report, as the result of some eiglit 
months of effort, that only three hundred persons had indi- 
cated their willingness to go, and they were mostly young, 
many of them young women. Thus Cromwell was forced, 
though unwillingly, to abandon the plan, which curiously 
illustrates the superior interest which even a Puritan like 
Cromwell felt in the fate of the island colonies, as compared 


with those on the continent, especially of New England.^ CHAP. 
This, however, was an opinion which the progress of the ^* 
French war in the next century tended to modify. Through- 
out the colonial period the island colonies were especially 
valued by England because of the tropical character of their 
products. These were not such as could be produced at 
home, and the control over their supply was one of the 
chief prizes for which English merchants contended. The 
products of the northern colonies, on the other hand, 
were similar to those of the British Isles, and, if pro- 
duced in sufficient quantities, would naturally come into 
competition with them. This was the economic reason for 
the preference that was widely felt for the island colonies 
and for the larger share of attention which was paid to 

But there was another reason for this phenomenon — one 
which was derived from the position of the island colonies 
with reference to the frontier and their relation to the 
general problem of defence. Viewing the subject from the 
purely imperialist standpoint, the British frontier in America 
in the seventeenth century extended from Newfoundland 
to Trinidad, and was susceptible of further extension at both 
its northern and southern ends. If one were treating of 
colonial administration alone, without particular reference 
also to the institutions of the United States, he would take 
his stand in England and trace the development of the 
system wherever it appeared along the entire American 
coast. The plan of these volumes is somewhat more re- 
stricted than this and limits our attention chiefly to the 
middle section of that great arc. But the existence of the 
frontier as a whole, and of colonies within it which did not 
become parts of the United States, must not be forgotten. 
Account now and then must be taken of their influence upon 
the syBtem as a whole and upon the continental colonies in 
particular. With the advent of the Interregnum, and espe- 
cially with the conquest of Jamaica, the influence of the 

1 Ptonn. MemoriaLs of Admiral Penn, n. 6S5 ; Thurloe, IV. 440, 449 ; V. 
6, 600, 610 ; Strong, op, cU,; New Hayen CoL Recs. XL 180 ; Atwater, Hist 
of New Hayen, 202. 


island colonies appears with special clearness, and from that 
time was continuously felt. 

Those colonies and the seas which surrounded them be- 
came at that time the seat of war. They had been so before, 
but now the fact appeared with especial clearness. It now 
became perfectly evident that, in a naval and military sense, 
the West Indies were the most important part of the fron- 
tier. Thenceforth this fact was never lost sight of, though at 
a later time the Gulf of Saint Lawrence rose to something 
like a corresponding importance. But among the West 
Indies were Spanish, Dutch, and French possessions, terri- 
tories which belonged to each of the states of which England 
was a rival or with which it was often in hostile relations. 
When, therefore, England was at war, the West Indies were 
almost sure to be a scene of activity. During the wars of 
the Restoration period and of the eighteenth century fleets 
and armies very frequently came and went between that 
region and Europe. The British admiralty, the privy coun- 
cil, and all the officers of state who had to do with diplo- 
macy and defence were always concerned with relations 
in that quarter. Frequent exchanges or other transfers of 
territory occurred there. 

In other words, administrative control by the British 
government over the island colonies became at an early date 
continuous and vigorous. From the time of Cromwell the 
correspondence which passed between them and the home 
government was increasingly large and important. After 
the Restoration the system of royal government was rapidly 
extended over those colonies; royal appointees of all sorts 
were sent among them, not a few being commissioners for 
special purposes. Elaborate sets of instructions were given 
to the governors, those which were prepared for Jamaica 
serving in some cases as models for later instructions to the 
governors at large. It is true that royal government was 
first applied on a considerable scale in Virginia. But life 
in that province moved quietly and required little vigorous 
attention from the home government. Its defence did not 
present questions of great difficulty. Until the close of the 
seventeenth century the same was true of all the continental 


colonies. Hence it was that the precedents which were fa- CHAP. 
Yorable to active imperial administration were first established 
on a large scale in the government of the island colonies. 
The system was most thoroughly tested there. 

Soon after the occupation of Jamaica by the English, 
Thomas Povey, supported by Lord WiUoughby of Parham 
and a group of merchants and others who were or had been 
officers in the army, submitted to the protector and council 
a remarkable series of proposals. They expressed the desire 
to pursue colonization by encroaching further on Spanish 
territory in South America, Mexico, and Florida, and asked 
for incorporation as a West Indies company. They also pro- 
posed the creation of a council for America, whose member- 
ship should include at least one principal councillor and a 
secretary of state. The duties of this body should be to 
improve the colonies which had already been secured and 
to plan new undertakings. They were to let the colonies 
understand that they were parts of ^^ one embodied common- 
wealth whose head and centre is here [t. e. in England] . " The 
council should be authorized to require from every governor 
an exact account of the government and laws of his colony, 
the number of men, its forts and means of defence. Infor- 
mation merely should not be sought, but the parties con- 
cerned should be roused up and advertised that his Highness 
was watchful for their general good and had further designs. 
The commissions of governors should be reviewed and they 
should all be made dependent on his Highness, be paid from 
a fund in England and be constantly accountable to England. 
The proprietary colonies should be reduced as near as 
possible to the same method and all made to conform to one 
model. Let correspondence, they said, be free and constant, 
and all be united into one commonwealth and regulated 
on common and equal principles. The colonial policies of 
other states were to be inquired into, the Spanish Council 
of the Indies being referred to as specially worthy of imita- 
tion. The colonies, if possible, were to be induced to raise 
a revenue of £10,000 or £20,000, to be lodged in the English 
treasury on their account, and disposed of by the council 
for America in the service of the colonies. 


These proposals are of great interest, for they reveal the 
ideas on the methods and objects of colonial policy which in 
1656 and 1657 were gathering headway in England and 
were forcing themselves on the attention of the Protector. 

Those who advocated them — Thomas Povey, Martin NoeU, 
John Mills, Tobias Bridges, John Lymbery, and others — 
appear on the committee of the council for Jamaica and for 
America and were interested in trade to the West Indies. 
The plans which they suggested reappear in almost identical 
form after the Restoration, thus establishing the connection 
between the period of origins and that of the full development 
of British colonial administration.^ Numerous references 
appear in the Colonial Papers during and after 1655 to the 
activity of Noell, Bridges, Lymbery, and others as traders and 
members of committee for Jamaica or for the island colonies 
generally. Thomas Povey, of whose papers the above pro- 
posals probably form a part, was apparently much occupied 
with questions of trade and colonization. He was thus pre- 
pared for the continuance of his work and its development 
as an office holder after the Restoration. 

1 Egerton Mbb., copies in Library of Congress; Kellogg, The American 
Colonial Charter, in Report of American Historical Association, 1903, L 



By the year 1660 the results of earlier colonial enter- CHAP, 
prises had become so considerable as to appear in clear relief, 
while they were extended and reenforced in such fashion by 
the Restoration government itself as to give both unity and 
breadth to the movement. The return of the king gave 
again to the English executive its old form. National life 
had gained in vigor in consequence of the period of revolu- 
tion, while its energies were no longer absorbed in domestic 
troubles. They found vent beyond the seas and proved 
their strength by the multiplication of colonies, the exten- 
sion of trade, and the development of a more clearly 
defined colonial policy. Intense and successful rivalry with 
the Dutch was continued, resulting again in war. To this 
were added the beginnings of what before the end of the 
century was to prove a much larger and more prolonged 
struggle with France. This gave a world-wide signifi- 
cance to the navy, trade, and the colonies. 

On the American continent the event of first importance 
during the period of the Restoration was the occupation 
of New Netherland and the subjection of the Dutch in 
that province to English rule. By this means the middle 
region which had been left unoccupied when Jamestown 
and Sagadahoc were settled came into the possession of the 
English. The middle Atlantic coast was thus closed to 
alien colonists, and a region of great strategic and commer- 
cial importance was acquired. By its acquisition a fatal 
blow was at the same time struck at the interests of the Dutch 
in North American commerce. Within this territory four 
provinces were founded, two of which were destined to be 
almost imperial in extent and resources. They gave unity 
to the colonial area, made possible a continuous coast line 
under English control on the east and a corresponding 



PART frontier line on the west. They gave a territorial basis 
^' . from which the advance of the French on the north and 
west could be successfully met. As the Earl of Clarendon 
and the Duke of York, with a group of men who sur- 
rounded them, were chiefly responsible for this event, so 
this same group will be found for a generation to be 
closely connected with every act which had as its object 
the strengthening of imperial control over the colonies. 
In many ways the trend in that direction was powerfully 
strengthened by the establishment of the province of New 

Next in importance to the acquisition of New Netherland 
was the settlement of the Carolinas. This gave a large 
and much-needed extension to the colonial area on the 
south. Not only did this extend the English coast line 
and frontier, but it partly filled in the gap between the 
continental and the island colonies ; it helped to make the 
vast Newfoundland-Trinidad arc continuous. It therefore 
had an important influence on the relations between the 
English and Spanish in North America. The personal 
relations also between the founders of the Carolinas and 
Barbadoes are suggestive. As the result of the occupation 
of New Netherland by the English and of the settlement of 
the Carolinas, the New England colonies, with Virginia and 
Maryland, cease to be mere isolated outposts and take their 
places in a group of dependencies. The rudiments of a 
system of colonies begin to appear, and that suggested to 
the merchants and officials at home a colonial policy which 
should embrace them all and apply to them common princi- 
ples of administration. 

Next in importance to the acquisition of the colonies was 
the development of the policy by which their«relations with one 
another, with other states, and with the parent state should 
be guided. Historically the processes of acquisition and 
government went on together and mutually conditioned one 
another. We may say that by 1675 the colonial territory 
had been definitely acquired; but at that date the principles 
upon which it was to be governed were just being developed. 
Not the least notable achievement of the period was the 


formulation which was then given to those principles and CHAP. 
the effort that was made to enforce them on a large scale. 
The policy was set forth in part in the acts of trade, but it 
also concerned the problem of defence by sea and land, 
and touched more or less directly every question that lay 
within the sphere of government. Its object may be com- 
prehensively stated to have been the maintenance of the 
sovereignty of England over the colonies, in order that the 
maximum of advantage for both, but especially for the realm, 
might be secured. It differed from the policy of the early 
Stuarts in this respect, that greater emphasis was laid on 
questions of trade and defence, while in ecclesiastical relations 
the colonies were allowed a large degree of freedom. In this 
connection it is worthy of note that the reference to the do- 
minions which was contained in the Elizabethan act of uni- 
formity was omitted in the act of uniformity of Charles II. 
This affords conclusive proof that the Restoration govern- 
ment declined to revive, so far as the colonies were con- 
cerned, the ecclesiastical issues upon which Archbishop Laud 
and his associates had laid such emphasis. The internal 
religious development of the colonies during the period of 
the Restoration proves that the government consistently 
adhered to this principle of action. 

Perhaps the most direct line of connection which it is 
possible to establish between the ideals and policy of the 
Commonwealth and those of the ministries of Charles II may 
be foimd in the papers of Thomas Povey, to which reference 
was made at the close of the previous chapter. Povey and 
Noell appear to have renewed their overtures after the Resto- 
ration, and that in very much the same form which was given 
to them while Cromwell was still living. They urged the 
establishment of a council for foreign plantations, to be 
appointed by the privy council, which should give directions 
in ordinary cases and in extraordinary should report to the 
king. In 1660 Povey was appointed treasurer to the Duke 
of York, a post which he held until 1668. In 1661 he 
was made receiver general of rents and revenues of the 
plantations. He was also one of the masters of requests, 
and from 1662 to 1665 he was treasurer for Tangier and 

VOL. Ill — L 


PART surveyor general of the victualling department. In both 
these posts he was succeeded by Samuel Pepys. Several 
of his kinsmen were also in office in Ireland and the 
plantations. He was on intimate relations with Temple 
and Crown, the claimants of Nova Scotia. These facts, 
together with others which will be mentioned later, suffice 
to prove that Povey was a typical office holder of the 
Restoration, and that he was brought into connection with 
a large group of men who, like himself, surrounded the 
statesmen of the time. His friend, Martin Noell, was 
knighted after the Restoration and died a wealthy merchant. 
The fortune of Noell appears to have been made in part in 
the slave trade, but he thought it not inconsistent with his 
calling to be also a charter member of the Society for the 
Propagation of the Gospel in New England. 

Tobias Bridges, another friend of Povey, was also knighted 
by Charles II, and during the Dutch War, in 1667, com- 
manded two regiments of the king's troops who, from Bar- 
badoes as a centre, served in an expedition against Saint Chris- 
tophers and the French islands of the neighborhood. Major 
Edmund Andros was an officer in one of these regiments. 
Captain John Berry, whom we shall meet as a member of the 
royal commission of 1677 to Virginia, commanded a part of 
the vessels with which the land force cooperated in this 
expedition. Captain James Carteret, afterward notorious in 
New Jersey, served at the same time; while Captain John 
Scott, whose activity as an agitator and intriguer against the 
Dutch before the occupation of New Netherland was con- 
spicuous, shared even more prominently in these doings in 
the West Indies. The fact that M. De la Barre, as governor 
of Martinique and viceroy of the Caribbean islands, held a 
leading position on the side of the enemy, establishes a line 
of connection between these events and later ones of equal 
importance in Canada. Closely connected with these men 
and with all others who were engaged in the plantation 
service, was Joseph Williamson, who was at first secretary to 
Lord Arlington and later (1674-1680) secretary of state. 
His note-books were filled with abundant information con- 
cerning all the colonies, their officials and systems of govern- 


ment. For twenty years, as clerk, expert, or responsible CHA 
official, Williamson's influence is traceable in every event of 
importance which affected the colonies. Among those who 
at this time sought to influence the government upon the 
issues which affected the northern colonies, none apparently 
grasped the situation more fully or urged his views more 
persistently than did Samuel Maverick, a man whom we have 
already met and whose activity at this time will receive 
further attention. 

If we add to the individuals who have just been mentioned, 
NicoUs, Werden, Randolph, Cranfield, Blathwayt, South- 
well, Sawyer, and rise from them to courtiers and statesmen 
of higher rank, — Berkeley, Culpeper, Arlington, Carteret, 
Shaftesbury, Clarendon, and the Duke of York himself, — we 
shall enumerate in part the group of leaders from whom pro- 
ceeded the colonial policy of the Restoration. They be- 
longed mainly to the Tory connection and were prominent in 
the vigorous assertion of the powers of the executive which 
distinguished the fifteen years and more that preceded the 
Revolution. The policy which they applied to the colonies 
was of the same general character as that which they sup- 
ported at home. For their prominence and influence in 
colonial affairs they are comparable with Raleigh, Gilbert, 
and their associates in the Elizabethan age and with Gorges, 
Smith, Sandys, and other colonizers of the early Stuart 

But whether or not the suggestions to which reference has 
been made were precisely the ones that were adopted, they 
fitted in perfectly with the tendencies of the times and re- 
semble to a marked degree the plan which soon took form. 
They also agreed well with the committee system, which to 
a large extent was perpetuated after the Restoration. The 
gfTowth in the volume of business which occurred after 1660 
promoted this tendency. By orders in council or by direct 
act of the king committees of council were created for a 
variety of purposes and were utilized as long as the need for 
them existed ; then they disappeared and others took their 

^ EgerUm Mas., libraiy of Congress ; Colonial Papers ; Diet of Nat. Biog. 


PART places. Thus, by a free adaptation of means to ends, 
^^' of which the gradual development of the cabinet furnishes 
the classical example, the executive business of the English 
government was done. During the years immediately 
following the Restoration we hear of a committee for the plan- 
tations or for the foreign plantations; and this was perpetu- 
ated, though with changes from time to time in its personnel. 
A standing committee for trade and commerce was appointed. 
We also hear of a committee for Jamaica and Algiers, of one 
for Jamaica alone, of one for the Guinea trade, of one fqr 
the royal company of adventurers, of one for the Newfound- 
land fisheries. Occasionally the entire council sat as a 
committee of plantations.^ 

On July 4, 1660, a little more than a month after the 
return of the king, under an order in council a committee 
was appointed to deliberate on petitions which had been 
presented by various merchants who were trading to the 
plantations in America. This committee was to receive 
further petitions or proposals relating to the plantations 
and report to the privy council. Among the members of 
this body were the lord chamberlain (Earl of Manchester), 
the lord treasurer (Earl of Southampton), Lord Say and 
Sele, Denzill Hollis, Secretaries Nicholas and Morrice, and 
Anthony Ashley Cooper. References appear to this group 
during the next few months under the name of the commit- 
tee for foreign plantations or for plantations in America.* 

When it was desired to create a body somewhat more 
permanent than a committee, but one which should work in 
connection with the privy council and subordinate to it, a 
formal commission was issued, accompanied, if thought 
needful, by instructions; and by this means a standing 
council or board of commissioners was brought into exist- 
ence. But after the committee system developed, it is not 
necessary to suppose that the council or boards of commis- 

1 Colonial Papers, 1574-1660, 483, 484, 486, 488, 489, 490, 491 ; ibid. 1661- 
1668, 264. Fragmentary minutes of some of these committees have been 
preserved. The manuscript registers of the privy council furnish abundant 
additional evidence of the extent to which committees were utilized. 

« Ibid. ; N. Y. Col. Docs. IIL 30. 


sioners, when they were created, supplanted the committees. CHAP. 
The evidence apparently warrants the conclusion that the ,^J^' j 
two continued to exist together and were used, the council ^ 
for the permanent and general work of administration, and 
the committees for specific purposes. After the Restoration, 
moreover, the domestic and foreign trade of England was, 
80 far as possible, administered separately from the trade 
and other affairs of the plantations. The plantations were 
treated as a group or unit by themselves. Still, all English 
interests, however distinct in location or in character, were 
superintended by the leading ministers and privy councillors, 
aided by such experts as they called to their assistance. 
Therefore all interests and policies came to a common clear- 
ing-house in the end, and there was a similarity of procedure 
among all the bodies concerned. 

When, therefore, on November 7, 1660, just two months 
after the passage of the navigation act, a patent was issued 
for the establishment of a council for trade,^ and on the first 
of the following December another patent establishing a 
council for foreign plantations, it did not imply that these 
bodies superseded all existing committees within their field. 
Their existence did not have this result, for evidence is 
abundant to the effect that many committees were later 
formed within the privy council to act or report on a great 
variety of matters connected with trade and colonization. 
The patents of November 7 and December 1 created standing 
councils, consisting largely of ministers and privy council- 
lors, but also containing merchants and other experts, whose 
duty it was during a considerable period of time to con- 
sider and promote English interests at large within the entire 
field of trade and colonization. Committees in the meantime 
dealt with a variety of special and temporary interests. 

The membership of the council for trade and of the coun- 

1 N. T. Col. Docs. III. 80 ; Colonial Papers, 1674-1660, 490, 402 ; Dom. 
Papers, 1660-1661, 319, 363, 866, and succeeding entries. (Possibly a V \ vic '-v^^f 
month before \he council for trade was appointed the merchant companies 
were called tipon to suggest names of persons suitable for membership. 
A list of country gentlemen, officers of the customs, merchants, navy officers, 
gentlemen of affairs, and doctors of civil law was presented. Cunningham, 
Gro¥rth of English Industry and Commerce, Modem Times, 913-921. 



cil for foreign plantations was much the same. Lord Chan- 
cellor Hyde was at the head of both, and associated with him 
were the principal officers of state, especially the lord treas- 
urer and Sir Edward Nicholas, secretary of state. Among 
the merchants whose names appear in both lists were Thomas 
Povey and Martin Noell, while the name of John Lymbery 
also appears on the council for foreign plantations. The coun- 
cil of trade was empowered to consider how the navigation, 
trade, and manufactures of the kingdom might be improved 
and to report its views to the king. In the commission and 
instructions to the council for foreign plantations the empha- 
sis was laid on colonial trade, and the policy of the crown in 
reference to the colonies was outlined. " We have judged it 
meet and necessary," the commission states, '^ that so many 
remote colonies and governments, so many ways considerable 
to our crown and dignity . . ., should now no longer remain 
in a loose and scattered condition, but should be collected 
and brought under such a uniform inspection and conduct 
that we may the better apply our royal councells to their 
future regulation, securitie and improvement." In view of 
the growing trade and population of the colonies, it was also 
declared that, " in all treaties and leagues with foreign princes 
and allies, the security and prosperity of trade and commerce 
shall be tenderly considered and provided for." It was thus 
clearly announced that the extension of trade and coloniza- 
tion was thenceforth to be a leading object of English foreign 

The new council was instructed to secure and keep copies 
of all grants from the crown ; to obtain from the governors 
all possible information concerning the way in which the 
colonies were governed, their laws, and the state of their de- 
fences. As often as necessary, the council was required to 
inform tlie king of the complaints of the colonists, of the 
nature and amount of the commodities which they produced, 
with full details respecting their commerce. It was to seek 
information from merchants, planters, seamen, and any 
others who could give it. It was also instructed to study 
the colonial systems of other states and to adopt such of their 
methods as seemed wise or ward off dangers which seemed to 


come from them. The idea was repeatedly enforced that the CHAP, 
administration of the colonies must be made more certain . ^^ 
and uniform, and that they should be treated as a whole 
rather than singly. The Society for the Propagation of the 
Gospel in New England was at this time rechartered,^ and 
the council was instructed to care for the maintenance of 
orthodox ministers in the colonies and for the extension of 
Christianity among the natives. The instructions closed 
with a clause of general import, requiring the council to 
dispose of all matters relating to the good government and 
improvement of the colonies, using its utmost skill and pru- 
dence. In cases where its members should judge that fur- 
ther powers were necessary, they should apply to the king or 
the privy council. 

Before the council for foreign plantations was formed the 
affairs of the West Indies had been prominently before the 
government. So had the conflicting claims of Elliot, Temple, 
and Crown to Nova Scotia, while the former doings of the 
Eirkes in Canada and other northern regions were an object 
of inquiry. In Virginia Governor Samuel Mathews had 
died, in January, 1660. The assembly, being already aware 
that the kingship was likely to be restored, had turned at 
once to Berkeley, who was still a resident of the province. 
He was restored to the governorship in March, though as the 
servant of the "grand assembly," the supremacy of which 
within the province was for the time being fully acknowl- 
edged.* To the acts of the session which was held when Berk^ 
ley was elected, the assembly prefixed the declaration that, 
because there was then in England "noe resident absolute and 
generall confessed power," the assembly declared itself su- 
preme and required that all writs should issue in its name. 
But at the close of July the restored king issued a commis- 
sion to Berkeley as royal governor.' In the autumn of 

1 Robert Boyle, who was president of the society, was also a member of 
the conncil for foreign plantations. 

* The principal documents are printed in the Sonthem Literary Messenger, 
XL 1 et 8€q. They show that Berkeley feigned unwillingness, but yielded 
and later excused himself to the king. Hening, Statutes, L 602, 504, 609, 
612, 626 e« M^., 630, 644 ; Neill, Virginia Carolorom, 361-864. 

• Colonial Papers, July 31, 1600. 


PART 1660, when the fact of the Restoration was known and had 
^ ^^' ^ been duly announced, the assembly met in the king's name 
and the forms of royal government were fully restored 
within Virginia. 

If one is to judge from the records which it has left, the 
activity of the council for foreign plantations was quite 
marked for about a year after its creation; then it diminished 
and wholly ceased with the year 1668. The chief activity of 
the board preceded the Dutch war of 1665 to 1667, and 
seems to have been lessened by that event. ^ Thomas Povey 
was especially prominent in all its early transactions. The 
business of the council began with an inquiry into the affairs 
of Jamaica and of New England. This revealed the fact that 
it was not so easy to secure information about New England 
as it was about the island colonies, and delay ensued. The 
affairs of Barbadoes also came prominently before it. It in- 
quired into the conflicting claims respecting Nova Scotia. 
The necessity of limiting the tobacco culture and of diversi- 
fying the industry of Virginia came under consideration. 
It deliberated on the method of supplying servants to the 
plantations, and on the status of Jews in the colonies. 
Through the petitions of various parties who had grievances 
against Massachusetts it presently obtained some insight into 
New England affairs, and those continued for some time to 
occupy its attention. But in one report it expressed itself 
as convinced that Jamaica was capable of being made ^^ the 
most eminent plantation of all his Majesty's distant domin- 
ions." * In order to facilitate its efforts the council, which 
was nearly as large as the privy council, created several sub- 
ordinate committees. References appear to committees on 
New England, on Maine, on Nova Scotia, on the Quakers, and 
on Barbadoes. Its procedure was evidently an imitation of 

1 Its records, under the title of Minutes of the Council for Foreign Planta- 
tions, will be found in Colonial Papers, 1661-1668. In these entries the term 
committee, or committee of council, is frequently used, the title thus indicat- 
ing the activity of another body, viz., a committee of the privy council for 
foreign plantations. But in the Calendar (see Index, p. 710) the entries 
which appear in this form are classed as a part of the Minutes of the Council 
for Foreign Plantations, though that is apparently an error. 

» Col. Papers, 1661-1668, 47. 


that of the privy council, a fact which may be assumed to CHAP, 
have been true of all the commissions of the period. 

One of the first duties of the new plantation board was to 
draft a letter which, with certain variations, could be sent 
to Barbadoes, Virginia, and New England. In this letter, 
which was despatched to Virginia in the spring of 1661, the 
fact of the appointment of the plantation council was an- 
nounced, and the governors were directed to send to it an 
account of their system of government, of their militia and 
other means of defence, of their revenue and expenditures. 
A statement of the population of their colonies, arranged 
according to social classes, was also required, with an ac- 
count of the products raised and full statistics as to trade. 
They were particularly warned to enforce the act of trade, 
to suppress immorality, and to maintain worship according 
to the forms of the Church of England. Virginia was 
told to send over a list of its parishes and to encourage the 
settlement of Anglican pastors. With the letters went the 
king^s declaration from Breda and the act of indemnity 
which had recently been passed by parliament.^ 

In the case of Virginia, however, the information thus 
called for was probably given by the governor in person, 
for, owing to rumors that an effort would be made to revive 
the old company, the assembly, at its session of March, 1661, 
resolved* to send Berkeley to England as agent, and voted 
to raise 200,000 pounds of tobacco to meet his expenses. 
Berkeley was absent on this errand till the fall of 1662, 
Francis Moryson serving in the interval as deputy gov- 
ernor. Of the details of his doings as agent we have no 
knowledge, but nothing more was heard of the proposal 
for the reestablishment of the company. It is certain that 
Berkeley, during his residence in England, was thrown into 
connection with the group of merchants, officials, and court- 
iers who, from various motives, were interested in schemes of 
colonization. His brother, Lord John Berkeley, was a mem- 
ber of both the council for trade and the council for foreign 
plantations. In 1663, besides becoming a charter member 
of the Royal African company, Lord John was one of the 

1 Colonial Papers, February 11 and 18, 1661. * Uening, II, 17. 


PART eight to receive the patent of Carolina, while two years later, 
* jointly with Sir George Carteret, he received from the Duke 
of York the grant of New Jersey. For a time he was also 
lord lieutenant of Ireland. At an earlier date, during the 
period of the Stuart exile, he had also been interested in a 
plan for the establishment of a proprietorship in Virginia. 
He was a typical courtier of the early period of Charles II, 
loose in morals, an autocrat in his notions of government, and 
a high churchman in religion. In the last two qualities the 
governor of Virginia fully shared, while for a period he too 
was an active member of the board of proprietors of Carolina. 
Berkeley returned to his province fully sharing in its 
spirit of loyalty and of Anglican orthodoxy, and entered 
upon a second administration which was to continue for 
more than fifteen years. The first half and more of this 
term was, with a few exceptions, a period of quiet pro^ 
perity and growth in Virginia. Through the avenues of 
trade and personal intercourse, as well as by the ordinary 
process of administration, intimate connection with England 
was maintained. The devotion of Virginia to the restored 
monarchy was shown by an act passed in 1661 which pro- 
vided that the anniversary of the execution of Charles I 
should be perpetually kept as a fast, and the anniversary 
of the restoration as a day of thanksgiving. Probably in 
no other colony would such legislation as this have been 
possible. But the cavalier, Berkeley, was eminently fitted to 
be the leader of a society which was animated by this spirit, 
and for more than a decade he enjoyed in Virginia a degree 
of respect amounting almost to reverence.^ In Maryland, 
likewise, the proprietary regime was fully reestablished, 
and for a considerable time it continued undisturbed by 
internal strife or by conflict with any outside power. 

So far, therefore, as the continental colonies were con- 
cerned, the questions which demanded immediate attention 
were the settlement of disputes within New England, the 
determining of the relations between that group of colonies 
and the home government, and the reoccupation of New 
Netherland. The Clarendon ministry regarded these ques- 

^ See Lud weirs account of Berkeley, Va. Mag. of Hist V. 64. 


tions as interdependent and treated them collectively, as dis- CHAP, 
tinct but not unconnected aspects of the same colonial policy. ^^ 
The reoccupation of New Netherland was an incident of the 
struggle with the Dutch for commercial supremacy, while at 
the same time it involved a resumption of active administra- 
tion in the southern part of the old territory of Northern 
Virginia, or more exactly in the middle region which under 
the grant of 1606 had been left free to the two companies 
for joint settlement. The view systematically advocated 
by the English government implied that, owing to the 
failure of the Plymouth patentees, and later of the New 
England council, to successfully prosecute their plans of 
colonization, that region had been left open, and Dutch 
adventurers had forced their way in and taken possession. 
They had secured the best part of the beaver trade and had 
become carriers of much of the tobacco and of other prod- 
ucts of the English colonies, as well as of their European 
imports, on the ocean. Their subjection or removal was 
therefore regarded as an incident both of the territorial and 
trade policy of England. Partisans even went so far as to 
affirm that the Dutch government had never acknowledged 
the work of these squatters or made itself responsible for 
the defence of the territory which they had occupied. 
Therefore should England resume possession of its own, 
it would not be a ca9ii$ belli. This view, of course, was 
extreme and inconclusive, for it ignored a whole series of 
facts which have been elsewhere set forth. But it suited 
well the imperialistic ambitions of George Downing, of the 
New England colonists, and of the English merchants and 
officials. After the Restoration events both in England 
and America tended steadily toward this consummation, 
until, in March, 1664, the decisive step was taken by the 
issue of the charter to the Duke of York. By that patent 
the province of New Netherland, though still in the posses- 
sion of the Dutch, was bestowed on the heir of the English 
throne.^ This insured not only that New York would be 

1 The name New Netherland, of coarse, does not appear in the patent or 
indeed any reference to the Dutch. It purports to be a grant of unoccupied 


FART a special object of interest to the king and the English goy- 
^ ^^' J emment itself, but that on the accession of James it would 
become a royal province. The grant, as originaUy made, 
was vast in extent, and had the duke at the time been as 
fully conscious of his opportunities in America as was 
Nicolls, his governor, it would not have been diminished 
by sub-grants. But even as it was, it set up an obstacle 
to the westward expansion of New England, while Long 
Island and the two dependencies which were joined with 
it — Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket and the district 
between Pemaquid and Nova Scotia — were suggestive of 
the old grant of Northern Virginia, or of that of 1620 to the 
New England council. It is possible, even in the Duke of 
York's patent of 1664, to see the faint sketch of a vast royal 
province which should envelop the New England colonies 
and by its growth realize the dreams which Sir Ferdinando 
Gorges had cherished throughout his life. The project 
originated among those who were the political heirs of 
Oorges and his supporters under the early Stuarts, and it was 
the first stroke after the Restoration which had as its object 
the revival of the ideals and policy which had led to the 
resignation of the charter of the New England council. It 
appears in history as a most important landmark in the 
development of that type of colonization of which Gorges 
was one of the earliest exponents. 

When viewed in this light, it becomes evident that the 
establishment of the English province of New York was an 
event of profound significance, not only in itself, but in its 
relations to New England. English statesmen of the period, 
and those among their advisers who were most alive to 
American issues, were aware of this, and events as they pro- 
gressed brought out the fact in ever clearer relief. 

If we view colonial affairs chiefly in their political and 
ecclesiastical relations, and look at them from the standpoint 
of the Anglicans who controlled English policy during the 
years which immediately followed the Restoration, our judg- 
ment must be that New England, and especially Massachusetts, 
needed regulating. Even one who cared little for religious 
conformity or for Anglican predominance, but who was ready 


to insist upon the necessity of a genuine recognition by the CHAP, 
colonists of English sovereignty, would also be ready to join ^^ 
in the demand that some steps be taken to bring Massa- 
chusetts into greater harmony with tendencies that were 
operative in the colonies generally. A due regard also to 
private rights would lead to a similar conclusion. Finally, 
there was even less probability of obedience to the acts of 
trade in New England than elsewhere. The attempt of 
Gorges and his friends, in the reign of Charles I, to force 
New England into the mould of the royal province had 
failed. During the period of the Commonwealth and Pro- 
tectorate that section had been left almost to itself. With 
the restoration of the kingship, therefore, it was inevitable 
that some steps should be taken to establish relations between 
the English government and the New England colonies 
which would better facilitate the exercise of imperial control. 
Early in 1661 petitions in considerable number from those 
who had grievances against Massachusetts were presented 
before the English government. They came chiefly from 
Edward Godfrey, Captain Thomas Breedon, Samuel Mav- 
erick, Archibald Henderson, John Gifford and associates 
who had been concerned in iron works, young Ferdinando 
Gorges, Robert Mason, and last of all from the Quakers.^ 
The burden of Godfrey's complaint, and of that of Gorges, 
was the encroachment of Massachusetts on Maine. Godfrey 
in particular stated how for years he had vainly labored 
both in the colonies and in England to secure justice, but had 
failed. His defence of the rights of Gorges, which he claimed 
were coincident with the rights of the king and the true lib- 
erties of Englishmen, had occasioned the loss of much of his 
property. He now demanded justice. He charged that 
Massachusetts was aiming at independence, while as an in- 
ducement for interference in the interest of the crown he 
called attention to the fact that for purposes of trade the 
mouth of the Piscataqua was more valuable than all New 
England beside. Gorges dwelt upon the services of his 
grandfather in the cause of English colonization, on the patent 

1 Colonial Papers, 1660-1668, 17 et aeq.; Colls, of N. T. Hist. Soc. Fund 
Series, 1869, 16 et ieq. 


PART which he had obtained from Charles I, and on the act of usur- 
^' pation by which, when weakened through civil war at home, 
he and his heirs had been robbed of that grant. Robert Mason 
made similar representations concerning New Hampshire. 

Captain Breedon submitted the book of laws of Massa- 
chusetts, called attention to the religious test, to the failure 
of the magistrates to take or administer the oath of alle- 
giance. He found that many were opposed to acknowledging 
the king or owning any dependence on England. Yet, ac- 
cording to his exaggerated claim, two thirds of the soldiers 
were non-freemen and would be glad to have officers who 
bore the king's commission. Breedon dwelt with special 
emphasis on the fact that the regicides, Whalley and Goffe, 
had been sheltered in New England. Of this he was one of 
the first to give information in England. 

In 1653, or thereabouts, John Gifford, agent of William 
Beck and other English undertakers in the iron works at 
Lynn, had been sued in the county court by his principals ^ 
for the sum of £13,000, the loss of which they claimed to 
have sustained because of errors and fraud in Gifford's 
accounting. In 1654 the case came on appeal before the 
general court, and several hearings were held. The case 
had gone against Gifford, and he had been held for brief 
periods as a prisoner and put under heavy bail. Maverick 
and others had furnished bail for him. Beck and his English 
associates now petitioned the home government for redress, 
alleging that for supposed debts their estates in Massa- 
chusetts had been seized, their agent had been imprisoned, 
and they had not yet been able to find a remedy. 

The petitioners to whom reference has been made, with 
all their associates, joined in the request that a general gov- 
ernor should be sent to New Englahd. The petitions from 
Quakers were signed by Nicholas Upshall, Samuel Shattuck, 
and others^, and after describing the laws which had been passed 
against them and the sufferings which they and many mem- 
bers of their sect had endured, urged that their grievances 
be heard and redressed. In the political projects to which 

iMaas. Col. Reos. m, 217, 219, 241, etc.; Colonial Papers, 1661-1608, 


the other petitions were committed, the Quakers of course CHAP, 
took no interest. , ^^' 

The only petition which was presented against any colony 
except Massachusetts, was that of Giles Sylvester, of Shelter 
island. He complained that the government of New Haven, 
because he refused to acknowledge its right of jurisdiction, 
had confiscated some three thousand acres of land which he 
had bought from the Indians. 

Samuel Maverick was in England at the time of the Res- 
toration and remained there during the four years that im- 
mediately followed it. His long residence in New England 
and large acquaintance with its affairs, combined as they 
were with a sober judgment, made valuable both the infor- 
mation he was able to give and the advice which accompanied 
it. A correspondence was early begun between him and the 
Earl of Clarendon, which was continued till about a year 
before the fall of that minister,^ and of the important practical 
effect which followed this exchange of views there can be no 
doubt. During or about 1660 Maverick also prepared in 
manuscript an Account of New England which we may 
suppose was intended for the use of officials and that it also 
had an influence.^ In his letters Maverick refers to the 
leading episodes in the early dealings between the home 
government and Massachusetts, and in such way as to show 
that his ideas were to an extent reflected in the missives 
which were sent from the king to that colony. During the 
period of the Restoration nothing comparable with this re- 
lationship arose except in the case of Edward Randolph ; 
while in personal qualities and balance of judgment the 
comparison shows results decidedly favorable to Maverick. 

The ideas and course of policy which were urged by Mav- 
erick upon Clarendon were an elaboration of those set forth 
in the " Child Memorial " of 1646,8 with the addition that, 
in connection with the needed regulation of New England 

1 The letters of Maverick to Clarendon are printed among the Clarendon 
Papers, Colls, of N. T. Hist Soc. Fund Series, 1869. Some are also printed 
in N. Y. Col. Docs. III. " Printed in Proc. of Mass. Hist. Soc. for 1884. 

* See Vol. I. of this work, p. 257. An elaborate study of this manifesto, 
in all its historical connections, is in preparation by £. S. Joy. 


PART affairs, the power of the Dutch on the Hudson and Delaware 
^ • J should be overthrown and that the two enterprises should be 
undertaken together. In sketches of the past doings of 
Massachusetts which he repeatedly submitted to the min- 
ister he referred to all the instances of its harshness and in- 
tolerance from the beginning, not omitting any important 
events which indicated a dislike of the kingship in England 
or a disposition to oppose it. As in 1646, so now, he insisted 
on the necessity of changing the conditions of citizenship so 
as to admit all freeholders to active political rights, and thus 
broadening the religious system so as to secure equal privileges 
to Protestants generally. In reference to the question of 
admission to baptism he defended the principle of the half- 
way covenant, which Massachusetts, by the way, was just 
adopting. The necessity of enforcing the right of appeal 
he never forgot, while he called attention to the inconsist- 
ency between the oath of fidelity and the obligations of 
allegiance. Going further, he urged a general reform of 
the laws of Massachusetts, the rectifying of her boundaries, 
and the assumption of immediate control over her militia by 
the king. As the means by which to carry all those measures 
into execution, he urged the appointment of a royal governor 
or the sending of a commission, and that the royal appointees 
should be accompanied by a small armed force for the re- 
duction of New Netherland. He did not look for resistance 
of consequence in either colony, for in the one the hold of 
the Dutch was too weak to make it possible, and in the other 
the numerical superiority of the non-freemen was so great 
that the supporters of the magistrates and elders would be 
forced to yield. As a result of the regulation of New Eng- 
land affairs, a way, he believed, would be opened through 
which the crown could secure a revenue from those colonies 
in the form of quit rents, while its influence would be en- 
hanced in every way. The policy which the home govern- 
ment was now to follow could hardly have been pointed out 
more aptly, while the share which Maverick was to bear in 
its execution not only rounded out his career, but curiously 
illustrates the persistence of many of the earliest tendencies 
in New England history. 


A comparison of these petitions and memorials makes it CHAP, 
clear that, however much the complainants might exaggerate , 

their hardships and slur over or conceal the motives which 
gave apparent justification to the conduct of Massachusetts 
there was need of inquiry and possibly of interference by a 
sovereign power. The presumption was raised that private 
rights had been violated. The charge was made that certain 
public duties were being neglected. But for the satisfactory 
treatment of these delicate questions both intelligence and a 
sense of fairness were necessary. And it must be admitted 
that it was doubtful whether English officials of the type 
which controlled affairs after the Restoration would possess 
both these qualities to the requisite degree. 

When the king returned and monarchy was again set up 
in England, John Leverett was still resident there as agent 
for Massachusetts. Endicott was governor at Boston. In ^ 
September, 1660, Leverett wrote to Endicott stating that 
complaints against Massachusetts had been submitted to the 
l^g by Godfrey and others, and there was talk about send- 
ing over a royal governor. In the absence of express orders, 
Leverett did not feel authorized to appear at court on behalf 
of the colony, but he had received words of sympathy from 
Lord Say and Sele and from the Earl of Manchester. As 
soon as his letter reached Boston, the general court sent its 
first addresses to the king and parliament and resolved to 
associate Richard Saltonstall and Henry Ashurst with 
Leverett^ in the agency. The address to the king, which 
was prepared with the assistance of the clergy, was notable 
as the first of a series of such papers which emanated at this 
period from the general court. Its biblical phrases and its 
exaltation of the royal dignity, its almost fawning humility, 
might well have befitted a petition from the chosen people, 
when in exile, to their Persian monarch. But behind the 
expressions of humility appeared the proud consciousness 
that the Puritan was able to justify, not only his removal from 
England, but his course of policy since that event. 

The limits beyond which the colony would not voluntarily 

1 Hutchinson Papers, IL 40. 

s Mass. Col. Recs. IV^. 460; Hatchinaon Papers, n. 43-61. 

VOL. Ill — M 


PART go in its submission to the king, were stated in the instruc- 
tions which were now sent to the agents, and to this position 
it adhered throughout the twenty years of controversy which 
were to follow. It insisted that the Massachusetts system 
of government, both in church and commonwealth, was con- 
sistent with the charter. If that system were changed, as it 
necessarily must be if any other power was imposed upon 
them, the object which had been sought by the removal into 
New England would be defeated. To this they would never 
consent. Furthermore, they insisted that appeals to Eng- 
lish tribunals, whether in civil or criminal cases, should 
never be permitted. The reasons assigned for this were that 
the expense attending such process would be intolerable, and 
the practice would bring authority within the colony into 
contempt. Behind this assertion lay doubtless the feeling 
that a concession on this point would also imperil the church- 
state system. That system was the citadel every approach 
to which should be strongly guarded. 

After asserting their readiness to defend the colony against 
the specific charges which had been made, and expressing 
the desire that the ordinance of 1642 exempting the colony 
from English customs duties might be renewed, the court 
closed with an injunction concerning the practical manage- 
ment of its case by the agents. " It is our meaning," they 
say, " that if in publick you or either of you be called to 
answer to these or to any other particulars, that you give 
them to understand that we would not impower any agent to 
act for or answer in our behalfe, because wee could not fore- 
see the particulars wherewith wee should be charged, but these 
are only private intimations to yourselves, which wee desire 
you to make use of for our indemnitie as you best may in a 
more private way and personall capacitie." This instruction 
to agents was repeated on many another occasion during the 
later controversy, and its effect always was to block proceed- 
ings and cause indefinite delay. It indicated that Massa- 
chusetts was again pursuing the tactics of passive resistance, 
and that it chose to define the relations which existed be- 
tween itself and the home government as essentially diplo- 
matic. Nothing was more irritating to the ofi&cers of the 


crown than the discovery of this fact. It clearly revealed CHAP, 
the truth of Clarendon's statement, that the New England 
colonies were hardening into republics. 

There were, however, one or two minor matters in which 
an immediate show of submission might serve a good pur- 
pose, and of these the magistrates at once availed themselves. 
One was the suppression of the Rev. John Eliot's book, 
the Christian Commonwealth^ which was supposed to contain 
the Fifth Monarchy heresy, for which the fanatic Venner 
had lately suffered in London. A similar opportunity was 
offered by the presence of the regicides, Whalley and Goffe, 
in New England. The statements of Breedon and Crown 
concerning the favorable reception which was given these 
officers in Boston and vicinity was correct. The knowledge 
of this made the officials of Massachusetts anxious to re- 
lieve themselves and the colony of this new cause of sus- 
picion. Therefore, when a royal warrant for the arrest of 
the regicides arrived, Endicott commissioned Kirke and 
Kellond — one a merchant and the other a shipmaster, and 
both recently arrived from England — to search for them. 
Whalley and Goffe had already withdrawn into the jurisdic- 
tion of New Haven. There they received protection, and 
Governor Leete was able so to delay the proceedings of Kirke 
and Kellond, that the regicides made good their escape into 
the wilderness. When the danger was past. Secretary Raw- 
son wrote to Governor Leete warning him of the peril of 
disobeying the king's warrant for the arrest of the regicides.^ 

Early in February, 1661, as soon as the first address from 
Massachusetts had been received, the king sent a gracious 
letter assuring the people of his high regard for the colony, 
and of his determination that it should share equally with 
the rest of his dominions in his moderate ecclesiastical policy, 
and in the measures for the encouragement of trade which 
he intended to undertake.^ When this letter was received 
in Massachusetts, a day was specially set apart for thanks- 
giving. But at the same time a committee of four magis- 

1 Hatchinson Papers, U. 52-60 ; Colonial Papers, 1661-1668, 27. Eellond*8 
account is in Colls, of N. Y. Hist Soc. Fond Series, 1869, 46. 
s Hatchinson Papers, IL 51. 


PART trates, four deputies, and four elders was appointed to meet 
• during the recess of the court and consider " such matter or 
thing of public concernment touching our patent, laws, privi- 
leges and duty to his Majesty, as they in their wisdom shall 
judge most expedient," and report at the next session. This 
action showed that the Massachusetts leaders considered 
themselves at the beginning^ rather than at the end of a 
struggle. This committee was asked by the court to define 
the liberties of Massachusetts and also the duties which were 
imposed upon its people by their obligation of allegiance to 
the king. 

Only a brief period elapsed before the general court met 
again in special session. The committee then submitted its 
replies to the questions which it had been asked to consider.' 
In accordance with many precedents they appealed to the 
royal charter and claimed for the colony the right to the in- 
stitutions of government for which it provided. Massachu- 
setts, they said, was a body politic, and was vested with power 
to make freemen. After describing in outline the institu- 
tions for which the charter provided, though without stating 
that they had come into existence in Massachusetts in their 
present form as the result largely of removal and not of royal 
grant, the committee declared that any imposition which was 
prejudicial to the colony and inconsistent with any just law 
of the colony that was not repugnant to that of England, was 
an infringement of its rights. Coming to the subject of alle- 
giance, they interpreted it somewhat more carefully than was 
done in 1646. Not only did they consider the colonists bound 
to defend the territory which had been granted them from for- 
eign attack, but to endeavor as they were able the preserva- 
tion of the king's person, his realm and other dominions, and 
to reveal and thwart all conspiracies against them. It 
also included, they said, the obligation to seek the peace of 
king and nation by punishing crimes and propagating the 
gospel within the colony, " our dread sovereign being styled 
'defender of the faith.'" Those who were flying from jus- 
tice in England might not find shelter in Massachusetts, 
while the colony would plead with the king against all who 

1 Mass. Col. Recs. IV«. 24. « Ibid. 26. 


should attempt the violation of its privileges. With this CHAP, 
carefully guarded explanation of the rights and obligations 
of the colonists, the accession of the king was proclaimed in 
August. The law of Massachusetts permitting free access 
to her harbors of ships which came for trade from other 
countries was repealed. An order was issued instead that 
such bonds should be taken from all shipmasters and returns 
made as were required by the navigation act of 1660,^ but as 
no custom house was established the order was without 
practical result. 

It was during the months which immediately followed 
the despatch of the king's missive, that the petitions to 
which reference has been made were presented to the Eng- 
lish government. They made a strong impression on the 
council for foreign plantations, though its members realized 
that only one side had yet been heard. An attempt, how- 
ever, had been made to get some information from Leverett, 
but he had said that his agency was at an end. Neither he 
nor those who had been appointed with him appear to 
have acted. Leverett, indeed, returned to Boston in the 
summer of 1662. He was reported^ in England to have de- 
clared that, before they would admit of appeals the colonists 
would deliver New England up to the Spaniard. His use- 
fulness as an agent could scarcely have survived such a 
statement as that. This the council interpreted as mean- 
ing that Massachusetts had purposely withdrawn from 
communication. They therefore presented a report to the 
privy council which was decidedly unfavorable to Massa- 
chusetts^ and prepared a sharply worded letter to be sent 
to the colony. They also suggested that Captain Breedon 
would be a good agent to intrust with its delivery. But 
Breedon was soon discredited by a revelation of the fact 
that under false pretences he had just obtained a commission 
as governor of Nova Scotia.* The privy council, however, 
without regard to the suggestion about Breedon, took the 

1 Mass. Col. Bees. IV>. 31, 32. 

s Maverick to Clarendon, Colls. N. T. Hist. Soc. Fund Series, 1869, 80 ; 
Hutchinson, Hist, of Mass. I. 247 ; Colonial Papers, 1661-1669, 88. 
s Colonial Papers, ibid. 24, 26. « Ibid. 79-85. 


PART business into its own bands, as one wbicb demanded further 
^' investigation and more patient bandling. For a consider- 
able time no further action was taken. Then, in September, 
the royal order, to which reference has been made in a 
previous volume, was issued, that the Quakers who were in 
prison under sentence of death or other corporal punish- 
ment should be sent to England for trial. This message 
was delivered by the Quaker, Samuel Shattuck; but, though 
the execution of the laws was for a time suspended, no 
Quakers were sent to England for the purpose mentioned. 
Such a course would have implied the existence of a 
right of appeal, which Massachusetts was resolved never to 

Late in 1661 the general court resolved, though contrary to 
the urgent protest of Endicott and Bellingham, the governor 
and deputy governor, to send agents to England. Simon 
Bradstreet and the Rev. John Norton were selected.^ Two 
committees were appointed, one to raise by subscription the 
necessary funds, and the other to prepare an address to the 
king, letters to friends of the colony in England, and addi- 
tional instructions for the agents. Both met with difficulties. 
The funds were raised, though after considerable effort. 
The other committee found both the agents averse to going. 
Besides the perils of a winter voyage, and the delicate 
health of Norton, the task was considered a difficult, if not 
a hopeless, one. As both had been prominent actors in 
recent events — Norton the leading clerical antagonist of 
the Quakers — they not unreasonably feared detention, or 
even imprisonment, in England. Whatever occurred, the 
agents could scarcely avoid incurring odium in Massachu- 
setts. The discussions by which they sought, so far as 
possible, to secure themselves against loss or disaster con- 
tinued for nearly two months. When finally Bradstreet 
and Norton sailed, they took with them instructions to 
answer all arguments made in England against the colony, 
to refute all scandals, to represent its people as loyal sub- 
jects, and to ascertain, as far as possible, the king's inten- 
tions respecting them. But, added the general court, "you 

1 Mass. Col. Recs. IV». 37, 39 ; Hutchinson Papers, II. 65-97. 


shall not engage us by any act of yours to anything which CHAP, 
may be prejudicial to our present standing according to 
patent." Captain Thomas Hull, the mint master, accom- 
panied the agents to answer complaints which had been 
made respecting the coining of money in Massachusetts. 
But as soon as the agents had gone, the court ordered the 
first bullion that came to hand to be coined into twopenny 
pieces of silver. 

The mission did not prove so disastrous as was feared. 
The agents were politely received, and, though confronted 
by some of the leading Quakers, their cause suffered no 
important injury. They were able to return after an 
absence of little more than six months, bringing with them 
a letter from the king.^ The opening sentences of this 
missive contained a gracious pardon for all possible devia- 
tions from the patent in the past, as due rather ^^ to the in- 
iquity of the times than to the evil intentions " of those who 
bore authority in the colony. The king also expressed his 
confirmation of the patent and of all the privileges which 
existed under it. But when he came to speak of the future, 
the royal utterances were not so welcome to the colonial 
authorities. The king commanded that the oath of alle- 
giance should be taken and observed, and that justice should 
be administered in his name. As the principal object of the 
colonists in securing their charter was to obtain freedom of 
worship, they were directed to guaranty the same to any 
Anglicans who might reside within the colony. No one 
should be excluded from office because of the opinions he 
held, and all freeholders of competent estates, who were 
orthodox in religion and not vicious in conversation, should 
be entitled to vote in the election of all officers, civil and 
military. If the number of assistants required by the 
charter was found too great, it might be reduced to ten. As 
it had been necessary to make a sharp law against Quakers 
in England, no objection would be made if the like were 
done in Massachusetts. The requirement that all laws and 
ordinances, made during the late troubles, which were 
derogatory to the king's government should be repealed 

1 Hutchinson Papers, n. 100. 


PART would also cause little difficulty, for none wliich came ex- 
^^' pressly under that designation had been found. 

Notwithstanding the mild tone which characterized much 
of the royal missive, it was evident that the crown insisted 
upon some changes which would ultimately curb the inde- 
pendence of Massachusetts and make a breach in her system 
of uniformity. The struggle was in reality just beginning, 
and as it proceeded the royal letter of 1662 was frequently 
referred to as an authoritative statement of the purposes of 
the English government relative to Massachusetts. For this 
reason the work of the agents appeared to the strict Puritans 
of the colony to be a failure. Those who at the outset had 
opposed the mission considered their views to have been 
justified. The agents, it is true, were not well qualified for 
their task ; but, whoever they may have been, they would 
have found themselves almost powerless at the English 
court. No one could have accomplished what the Puritan 
oligarchy really desired. 

The general court at its next session, in obedience to the 
express command of the king, ordered the publication of the 
royal letter. It also ordered that all processes should issue 
in the name of the king. Somewhat later it was enacted 
that the returns of shipmasters entering the colony should 
be taken before they were allowed to depart, as required by 
the navigation act. After a special order from the privy 
council officers were appointed to see that the naviga- 
tion act was enforced and the necessary bonds taken. ^ 
The court also felt justified in reviving the laws against 

The case set forth in the petitions of the Mason and 
Gorges heirs made absolutely necessary an inquiry into the 
doings of Massachusetts in northern New England. In the 
petitions,^ especially of Robert Tufton Mason, not only was 
the encroachment of Massachusetts on their territory de- 
scribed, but new currency was given to the notion which Sir 
Ferdinando Gorges held, that the Massachusetts charter had 

1 Mass. Col. Recs. IVa. 58.59, 73, 87; Colonial Papers, 1661-1668, 144. 
^ Belknap, History of New Hampshire, I. App. Nos. 12 and 13 ; Colla 
N. H. Hist. Soc. I. 327, 329 ; Colonial Papers, 1661-1668, 75. 



been procured through fraud and was therefore void from CHAP, 
the beg^inning. Some false statements were made concern- ^^ ' j 
ing the means which were used by Massachusetts in order to 
get possession of the territory. A committee of reference, 
of which Mason himself was a member, presented to the 
king an ex parte report in which they, of course, fully sup- 
ported the territorial claims of Mason and Godfrey. The 
attorney general. Sir Geoffrey Palmer, also reported in favor 
of Mason's claims. 

While the cause of the proprietors was being thus urged 
in England, in May, 1661, Ferdinando Gorges ^ appointed his 
relative, Francis Champernowne, with Henry Josselyn, — who 
had defended the Gorges claims in times past, — Nicholas 
Shapleigh, Robert Jordan, and others, commissioners to pro- 
claim the king and reestablish proprietary government in 
Maine. A public meeting was held at Wells in December 
and resolutions in accordance with the commands of Gorges 
were adopted. A representative assembly, called a general 
court, was summoned to meet at the same place the follow- 
ing May. This roused Massachusetts to action. Her com- 
missioners, Denison, Hathorne, and Waldron, were ordered to 
reduce Maine again to submission. When, in May, 1662, 
a general court which was called under Gorges' authority 
and attended by chosen " trustees " met at Wells, the Mas- 
sachusetts commissioners interfered. They summoned the 
inhabitants before them. They wrote many times in an im- 
perious tone to the commissioners and traders to cease from 
their disorderly acts and submit. The representatives of 
Gorges refused to submit. Then a conference was held and 
a compromise was reached. According to this a court was 
to be held at York the following July by Henry Josselyn 
and Major Shapleigh, representing Gorges, and Captain 
Waldron and Captain Pike, representing Massachusetts. 
Writs were to be issued in the king's name. Massachusetts, 
however, did not resign her jurisdiction, but continued her 
commissioners and issued her orders as usual ^ for the hold- 
ing of county courts. In June, 1663, her commissioners 

1 Ibid, 03, 90. < Mass. Col. Rec8. IV*. 70, 77, 108. 


PART were ordered to arrest any one whom they found in York- 
^^* shire acting under authority other than that of the king and 
Massachusetts. In Norfolk county, which included the 
New Hampshire settlements, no attempt was made at this 
time to oppose the jurisdiction of Massachusetts. 

The political and religious exclusiveness of Massachusetts 
and the encroachment of that colony upon the territory of 
the Mason and Gorges heirs furnished the chief reasons for 
the interference of the king in New England affairs. But 
there were also other conditions and questions which needed 
attention. In internal organization and to a very large ex- 
tent also in spirit and purposes, Plymouth, Connecticut, and 
New Haven were one with Massachusetts. None of these 
colonies proclaimed the king until the middle or latter half of 
1661. The Narragansett Settlements stood apart, and their 
many controversies with neighboring colonies inclined them 
to take shelter under English protection. They proclaimed 
the king's accession in October, 1660.^ It is true that the 
type of thought and feeling among the settlers of Providence 
and Rhode Island was Puritan. The tendency among them 
toward local independence was as strong as that shown else- 
where in New England. Their institutions were taking a 
form which was similar to that of the other New England 
colonies. But the controlling idea of the inhabitants was 
the desire for perfect religious liberty. This was a condi- 
tion which both Charles II and James II would feel inclined 
to cherish. The Narragansett Plantations offered one of 
the avenues through which royal influence could gain a foot- 
hold in New England. That was clearly perceived, and 
furnished a strong reason, not only for the grant of the 
Rhode Island charter, but for royal interference in the bound- 
ary disputes by which the very existence of that colony was 
threatened. Still other boundary questions were raised by 
the grant of the New York charter, which seriously affected 
Connecticut, and by the issue of the Connecticut charter, 
which similarly affected New York. 

1 R. I. Recs. I. 432 ; Maas. Recs. IV^. 30 ; New Haven Recs. II. 419, 422; 
Diary of John Hull, in Arch. Am. III. ; Kaye, English Colonial Administra- 
tion under Lord Clarendon, J. H. U. Studies, XXIII, 22-20. 


As all the colonies of southern New England had been 
founded by private initiative and that in part since the with- 
drawal of royal influence, it was reasonable that some inquiry 
should be made concerning the attitude which they held 
toward the crown. The entertainment of the regicides within 
New Haven and their final escape made such a course seem all 
the more necessary. The passage of the acts of trade and 
the adoption by the home government of a well-defined 
commercial policy made it necessary to inquire closely into 
the means which the colonies were taking for its enforcement. 

Since the crown had no officials of its own appointment 
resident in New England, nor any who were under the king's 
instructions or who were bound to report the condition of 
the colonies to him, the information could be obtained only 
through a royal agent or commission. A decade before com- 
missioners had been sent by parliament to '^ reduce " disobe- 
dient colonies. The diplomatic attitude which Massachusetts 
had assumed now made another resort to a device of this 
kind especially necessary. Resort to a measure like this 
was an easy first step in the application of royal pressure 
which was intended to force the New England colonies, and 
especially Massachusetts, out of a position which was anom- 
alous, and to bring them into line with colonial develop- 
ment in general. As early as September, 1662, the lord 
chancellor declared in the committee for plantations that 
the king would speedily send commissioners to regulate the 
affairs of the colonies. The Duke of York would consider 
the choice of fit men. The following April the king de- 
clared in an order in council that he intended to preserve 
the charter of Massachusetts, and would send commissioners 
thither to see how the charter was maintained and to recon- 
cile differences which existed among them.^ 

The men who, in 1664, were selected for the delicate task 
were Colonel Richard Nicolls, Sir Robert Carr, George 
Cartwright, and Samuel Maverick. NicoUs's qualifications 
were of a high order, and have been sufficiently indicated in 
another connection. The selection of Maverick as a member 
of the commission was a natural result of his services and of 

1 Ck>lonial Fapen, 1661-1669, 110, 128. 


FART the friendly relations in which he stood toward Clarendon. 
^^' J His knowledge of the case was such as to make him expert; 
he was also a colonist as well as an Englishman. But his 
lifelong opposition to Massachusetts Pui^itanism had made 
him a partisan and to that extent unfitted him for the task 
to which he was now appointed. Carr was one of those 
adventurers, undistinguished by principle or ability, whom 
the home government was too ready to appoint to posts in 
the colonial service. Cartwright apparently possessed ability 
and honorable intentions, but he lacked qualifications in 
point of knowledge and tact. Taken as a whole, the appoint- 
ments were as wise as under the circumstances could reason- 
ably be expected. 

Two sets of instructions ^ were given to the commissioners, 
one relating to Massachusetts and the other to the rest of 
the colonies. Both were elaborate and were drawn with 
ability. The former was the more minute, because in 
Massachusetts lay the most difficult part of the task. The 
commissioners were ordered, as soon as they arrived, to 
deliver to the governor of Massachusetts the letter which 
they brought from the king; also their commission and such 
instructions as it seemed wise to make known. Attention 
was repeatedly called to the fact that the chief object of the 
English government in sending the commissioners was, if 
possible, to induce Massachusetts to obey the commands of 
the king as expressed in his letter of June, 1662. The com- 
mission, however, seemed to imply something beyond this; 
for it was said that full authority was given the commissioners 
*^ to hear • • . and determine all complaints and appeals in 
all cases and matters, as well military, as criminal and civil 
and proceed in all things for the providing for and settling 
the peace and security of the said country," according to 
their discretion and instructions. In the instructions, how- 
ever, they were warned against hearing any cases except 
those which seemed to involve an evident violation of the 
charter. They were not to interrupt the ordinary course 
of justice. In reference to boundary disputes, they were 
to make only temporary adjustments, reserving final judg- 

1 N. Y. CoL Docs. m. 61-^. 


ment to the king. They were specially cautioned also to CHAP, 
conciliate the people and leaders, to assure them that the , ' , 
king had no intention of diminishing any right to which they 
were entitled under the charter. Religious freedom was 
in no way to be infringed, but it must be guarantied to 
Anglicans. Permanent residents of good and honest con- 
versation must also be admitted to full political rights. In 
short, inquiry should be made to ascertain whether or not 
the requirements of the king's letter of June, 1662, had been 
compUed with. 

Other objects of the commission were to learn if the 
regicides were still protected in the country; to secure, as 
was contemplated in 1654, the help of New England in the 
conquest of the Dutch; to ascertain as fully as possible the 
religious, political, and economic condition of the colonies, 
also the state of their defences, so that this information 
might be used as a guide to further steps of policy; to see if 
the acts of trade were enforced, though the colonists were to 
be made to understand that loyalty, rather than gain, was for 
the present desired. Massachusetts was to be induced, if 
possible, to submit to a renewal of her charter, so that in 
certain respects it might be improved. It was the desire of 
the king, revealed by the instructions, that he might have 
the appointment of the governor and the control of the 
militia. In the commission provision was made that, when 
business was transacted, Nicolls should always be present 
and have a casting vote in the case of a tie.^ 

The commissioners, accompanied by the armament which 
was to be used in the reduction of New Netherland, arrived 
at Piscataqua and Boston in July, 1664. When all the 
members had reached Boston, the king's letter — which was 
very conciliatory in tone — and the commission were delivered 
to the governor and council. That part only of the instruc- 
tions which related to the attack on New Amsterdam was 
then made known. The magistrates promised to call a 
session of the general court early in August and submit to it 
the question of raising troops to aid in the contemplated ex- 
pedition. The troops were raised, though their help was not 

1 N. Y. Col. Docs. m. 64, 114. 


PART needed. The court at this session also made that formal 
^^' change in the religious test to which reference has been made 
in the discussion of the relations between church and common- 
wealth in Massachusetts.^ After completing these prelimi- 
naries the commissioners departed for the Hudson and the 

The spirit of violent distrust with which the com- 
mission was regarded in Massachusetts is shown by the 
address which was sent to the king by the general court of 
October, 1664.^ After dwelling, as was always the case, on 
the services and privations of the fathers in founding the 
colony, and stating that the court had already done all to 
satisfy the king which could be done consistently with con- 
science and their liberties under the patent, they continued: 
^^ But what affliction of heart must it needs be unto us, that 
our sins have provoked God to permit our adversaries to set 
themselves against us by their . . . complaints and solici- 
tations, . . . and thereby to procure a commission under the 
great seal, wherein four persons (one of them our knowne 
and professed enemy) are empowered to heare, receive, 
examine and determine all complaints and appeals . . . and 
to proceed in all things, for settling this country, according 
to their good and sound discretions, &c. Whereby, instead 
of being governed by rulers of our own choosing (which is 
the fundamental privilege of our patent) and by lawes of our 
owne, wee are like to be subjected to the arbitrary power of 
strangers, proceeding not by any established law, but by their 
own discretions. And whereas our patent gives a sufficient 
royal warrant and discharge to all officers and persons for 
executing the lawes here made and published, . . . wee shall 
not now be discharged and at rest . . ., when we have so 
far executed and observed our lawes, but be liable to com- 
plaints and appeales,and to the determinations of new judges, 
whereby our government and administrations will be made 
void and of none effect. And th8 wee have yet had but a 

1 Vol. I. of this work, p. 212. McElinley, Suffrage in the English Colonies, 
824, printed in Pubs, of University of Pennsylvania, History Series ; CoUb. 
N. Y. Hist. Soc., Fund Series, 1869, 83, 100. 

3 Mass. Col. Recs. IV^. 129 ; Hutchinson, Hist of Mass. I. App. 460. 


little taste of the words or actings of these gentlemen, that CHAP, 
are come over hither in this capacity of commissioners, yet 
we have had enough to confirme us in our feares, that their 
improvement of this power . . . will end in the subversion 
of our all." " If these things go on," they continue, at once 
anticipating the worst, "your subjects here will either be 
forced to seeke new dwellings, or sinke and faint under burdens 
that will be to them intollerable." Enterprises of all kinds 
will be discouraged, the inhabitants driven to extremities, 
and the plantation ruined. But the king in the end will be 
the greatest loser of all. " It is indeed a grief to our hearts, 
to see your majesty put to this extraordinary charge and cost 
about a business, the product whereof can never reimburse 
the one halfe of what will be expended upon it." Not only 
had erroneous representations been made about dissensions 
which were alleged to exist in the colony, but the amount of 
wealth which was to be had there had also been greatly 
exaggerated. " Imposed rulers and officers will have occasion 
to expend more than can be raised here," and far less will be 
obtained than would be accounted by one of these gentlemen 
as a considerable accommodation. It is little wonder that 
these protests and insinuations, gratuitous as they were at this 
stage of the business, should have drawn reproof even from 
the king and severe replies from the ministers. It stamped 
the errand of the commissioners in New England as almost 
hopeless from the beginning. 

Until late in the autumn the commissioners were occupied 
with the conquest and pacification of New Netherland. 
They then undertook the difficult task of fixing the boundary 
between Connecticut and New York. Questions of boundary 
had been left unsettled when the royal charter was granted 
to Connecticut in 1662. The document had been allowed at 
that time to pass the seals, because Winthrop promised sub- 
mission " to any alteration " in the boundaries of the colony 
which might later be made by commissioners whom the 
king even then was intending to send " into those parts." ^ 
The question of the limits of Connecticut on the south and 
west had been made more complicated by the issue of the 

1 N. Y. CoL Docs. m. 66. 


PART charter to the Duke of York in 1664. Connecticat claimed 
^^' ^ Long Island because in her charter it was stated that her 
southern boundary should be the sea. But in the charter of 
the Duke of York it was expressly stated that Long Island 
should form a part of his province. By the charter of 1662 
Connecticut had been given a westward extension to the 
South Sea. The Connecticut river, on the other hand, had 
been specified as the eastern boundary of the Duke of York's 
grant. Nearly all of the settlements in Connecticut, to- 
gether with the whole of New Haven colony, lay west of the 
river. The historical connection of both New Haven and 
Connecticut with eastern Long Island had also been intimate. 
On the other hand, if Connecticut was allowed unlimited 
western extension, the development of New York would be 
forever crippled. Overlapping claims like these could be 
adjusted only by the crown or its representatives — the same 
power which by its carelessness or connivance had permitted 
them to originate. 

Governor Winthrop, with four agents appointed by the 
general court of Connecticut, and two invited representatives 
from the towns of eastern Long Island, met the commis- 
sioners at New York in November, 1664, for the settlement 
of the boundary question. That part of it which related to 
Long Island was soon adjusted, for it was impossible to dis- 
pute the positive declaration of the Duke of York's charter. 
But the question of the western boundary of Connecticut 
was full of difficulties. New Haven had not yet submitted 
to Connecticut. But in view of the location of the Con- 
necticut towns, and of the whole past history of that colony, 
it was impossible for the commissioners to insist upon the 
provision of the Duke of York's patent. Had they done so, 
the prospect of success in later negotiations in New England 
would have been destroyed. Nicolls at least was clear on 
this point, and an agreement was reached according to which 
the boundary was to run north-northwest from Mamaroneck 
creek to the Massachusetts line, approaching at no point 
nearer to Hudson's river than a distance of twenty miles. 
But Nicolls and his associates were deceived, for the starting 
point was only about ten miles from the Hudson, and if the 


line were extended north-northwest, it would cross the Hud- CHAP, 
son near Peekskill and reach the latitude of the southern . ^^' 
boundary of Massachusetts near the northwest corner of 
Ulster county. Because of this error the agreement was 
never ratified by the Duke of York or by the king, and 
many years of controversy followed before a final settlement 
was reached.^ But at the same time this conference, taken 
in connection with the grant of New York to the duke, had 
an important bearing on the history of the sea-to-sea patents, 
so far as such existed in New England. The commissioners, 
in their report to the king, declared that a line drawn twenty 
miles east of Hudson river was the western limit of both 
Connecticut and Massachusetts. 

In January, 1665, after the consideration of the Connecti- 
cut boundary was ended, Cartwright and Maverick repaired 
to Boston. Later they were joined by Carr, though he 
lingered on the Delaware until the patience of his colleagues 
was nearly exhausted. NicoUs was unable to visit New 
England until the beginning of May, when he shared in the 
important negotiations of that month with the magistrates 
and general court of Massachusetts. During the interval 
the three commissioners were forced to live among a popula- 
tion the majority of which viewed them with suspicion or 
open hostility.^ " This day," writes Cartwright, " a Quaker 
(my country woman) told me before Capt. Breedon, she 
had heard severall say yt I was a papist and yt Sr Rob. 
Carr kept a naughty woman, and examined her if I had not 
kept one too, or if she knew me not to be a papist. Mr. 
Maverick they declare to be their profest enemy. Many 
factious speeches fly up and down. This day (they say) here 
is a secret council and that all the ministers within 20 miles 
are called to it. . . . I am sure you know in what condi- 
tion I am in ; though you seem to deny me your assistance, 
yet let me have your pity, and I will doe my utmost." With 

1 N. T. CoL Docs. in. 66, 106, 281 ; N. T. State Library Bulletin, Gen. 
Bntries, 184, 136 ; Report of N. Y. Boundary Commission ; Conn. Col. Bees. 
I. 416, 427, 488, 486 ; Colonial Papers, 1661-1668, pp. 841, 846. 

> See the letters of Cartwright and Maverick to Nicolls, N. Y. Col. Docs. 
m. 88-04. 

TOL. in — N 


PART a sure instinct for the probability that in some way money 
^' J would be levied upon the colony, if the royal policy was 
executed with thoroughness, the rumor was circulated among 
the people that a quit rent of a shilling an acre was to be 
collected on the land and about £5000 annually taken be- 
sides. It was also reported that the discipline of the churches 
would be infringed and the processes of government inter- 
fered with by the hearing of appeals. Complaints were 
uttered of the expense which the entertainment of the com- 
missioners was imposing on the colony, while the com- 
missioners themselves were trying to eke out their stipend 
from the king so as to make it last during their prolonged 
stay. Cartwright wrote that he had not gone to dinner with 
a townsman since he came to Boston, ^' suspecting them to 
be as I fear they are," but he treated all who visited him as 
civilly as he could. Maverick declared that Cartwright had 
been " too retired." He himself had spent three weeks visit- 
ing friends in the chief Massachusetts towns and he believed 
he had removed the prejudices of many. He hoped he had 
not been "over sociable." 

Finding the spirit of opposition in Massachusetts so 
strong, the commissioners thought it best to begin with 
the adjustment of affairs in Plymouth, Rhode Island, and 
Connecticut, so as to return to Boston, if possible, with the 
prestige of success. In February they went to Plymouth. 
Thence, early in March, they passed through Rhode Island 
to Connecticut, returning by the Narragansett country and 
reaching Boston again about the middle of April. To the 
magistrates of each of these colonies substantially the same 
propositions were submitted which were contained in the 
king's letter of 1662. They were, that all householders 
should take the oath of allegiance and that justice should 
be administered in the king's name; that all who were of 
" competent estates and civil conversation " should be ad- 
mitted to the rights of freemen; that all persons of orthodox 
faith and upright lives should be allowed freedom of wor- 
ship and of organizing congregations of their own; and that 
all laws derogatory to the king, which might have been 
passed during the "late troublesome times," should be 


repealed. Rhode Island was also asked to provide suitably CHAP, 
for its own defence.^ ^^ 

As these requirements in nearly all respects conformed 
with the practice of the colonies of southern New England, 
they were accepted without opposition. At the suggestion of 
Plymouth the demand that the privilege of forming new con- 
gregations should be granted was confined to those who had 
secured a minister of their own. In Rhode Island an ^' en- 
gagement " was accepted in lieu of the oath. To the additional 
suggestion that Plymouth should seek to obtain a new charter, 
that colony demurred. Closer connection with the home gov- 
ernment, even through an agent, was not then desired. 

Rhode Island was very compliant, and while there the 
commissioners freely heard appeals. They had been fully 
instructed to inquire into the conflicting claims to the Nar- 
ragansett country, and this part of their duty they fulfilled 
to the letter, both Samuel Gorton and Massachusetts pre- 
senting long statements full of mutual recriminations.^ 
The claim of the Atherton company was examined and 
found invalid.^ In order to save the Narragansett country to 
Rhode Island, the commissioners at first commanded the vari- 
ous squatters who had come in from Massachusetts and Connect- 
icut to remove. Later, however, this command was revoked 
and the question of their rights was referred to the king. 
From one of the Indian sachems who had participated in the 
surrender of the country to Charles I, twenty years before, 
the commissioners obtained an acknowledgment of the deed. 
Relying on this, they took the Indians and their country 
into the king's protection, naming the district the King's 
Province. The magistrates of Rhode Island were empow- 
ered to administer justice in the region until the king's pleas- 
ure could be further known. In this business, and especially in 
efforts to dispossess Pumham, that ancient and wily protege 
of Massachusetts, Sir Robert Carr showed unusual activity, 
and incidentally came into relations for the moment both 

1 Flym. Bec& IV. 86 ; B. L Bees. H. 110 ; Conn. Bees. L 439, in each 
ease with the context 

s N. T. CoL Docs. IIL 66; Mass. Bees. IV*. 263, 266. 

s Ibid. lys. 174-176. See especially Cartwright's account of this, CoUs. 
N. Y. Hist. Soc Fond Series, 1869, 90-93. 


PART with the Apostle Eliot and with Roger Williams.^ Though 
^' J the settlement of the bounds of Rhode Island involved ques- 
tions of too great complexity for the commissioners to de- 
termine, they performed an invaluable service for that 
colony by giving final notice to Massachusetts that en- 
croachments toward the south would no longer be per- 
mitted. They recognized the fact that the possession of 
the Narragansett country was necessary, one might almost 
say) to the continued existence of Rhode Island as a distinct 
colony; and by placing its magistrates in charge of the dis- 
trict under the king's protection the commissioners aptly 
served both the interests of the crown and those of Rhode 
Island. The settlement of Massachusetts people in the 
Pequot country, under claims said to have originated in 
conquest, the commissioners looked on with equal disfavor; 
but they did not give any express recognition to the Hamil- 
ton claim against Connecticut, because it was not confirmed 
by actual settlement. When they returned to Boston the 
commissioners, with reason, congratulated themselves on the 
success which had attended their efforts in southern New 
England. Opposition they had met with nowhere, while in 
Rhode Island they had found an interest sufficiently strong, 
they hoped, to furnish a leverage against Massachusetts. 
Their doings in the south would add no recommendation 
to them in the eyes of the Bay Colony, for it suggested too 
clearly what was likely to be attempted on the Piscataqua 
and even in Massachusetts itself.^ 

Before the departure of the commissioners from Boston 
to visit Plymouth and the other colonies, in obedience to 

^ An explanation of Carres unwonted activity appears in a subsequent 
letter of his to one of the secretaries of state, Morrice or Nicholas. It seems 
that he desired a grant of much of the southern or southeastern portion of 
the Narragansett country for himself *^to settle upon.*' **That title which 
I had gotten at Delaware/* he writes, ** and for which I had hazarded my 
life, I am told is given away, and one is now come to take possession of it.** 
Apparently Berkeley and Carteret, by staying at home, had profited more 
surely from the king*s favor than had Sir Robert by risking his life in the 
colonies. N. Y. Col. Docs. III. 109. 

» R. I. Recs. II. 60, 127, 132-188, 161 ; Trumbull, History of Conn, L 630 ; 
Mass. Recs. IV*. 229 tt aeq. ; N.T. Col. Docs. III. 87, 97. 


instructions and in order the better to meet exaggerated 
reports concerning the king's intentions and their own, they 
asked the magistrates to call all the inhabitants together on 
the day of the court of election, early in the following May. 
There they might learn directly and without mistake " his 
Majesty's grace and favor to them."^ Attempts, like this, 
to appeal over the heads of the magistrates and general court 
to the people at large were naturally offensive, though in 
their reply the governor and assistants did not refer to this 
aspect of the case. They said that they could see no reason 
for this proposal, while to draw the people away from their 
houses would leave the colony exposed to Indian attacks ; 
"all could come if they would — there was no prohibition." 
Cartwright, in one of his characteristic statements, declared 
the proposal to be so reasonable that he who would not attend 
was a traitor. And before they left the commissioners sent 
a letter to some of the non-freemen advising them and their 
neighbors to be present at the next court of election and 
hear a message direct from the king, as " the best way to 
prevent all slandering of his Majesty and all misapprehen- 
sions in his good subjects and all prejudices from us." 

On the eve of the election the commissioners returned, 
Nicolls now at last appearing with them. Endicott had just 
died; Bellingham was the acting governor. Letters had lately 
been received from Secretary Morrice and the lord chancellor, 
in reply to the last communication from the general court. 
It was said that it had been unfavorably received by the king, 
as " the contrivance of a few persons who had been too long 
in power"; that they were unreasonably jealous of the king, 
who had no intention of infringing their charter, but who 
must institute an inquiry because of the complaints which 
had come from various quarters. Clarendon wrote in much 

^ Mags. Rec8. IV. 173. The sources for what follows are mainly the 
official account of the dealings between Massachusetts and the commissioners 
entered by order of the general court in the Recs. IV*. 167-273 ; and the 
Danforth Papers, in 2 Mass. Hist. Colls. VHI. 65-06. Among the Clarendon 
Papers, in Colls. N. T. Hist. Soc. Fund Series, 1869, 88 et 8eq., is a criticism 
by Cartwright of many of the statements in the official account by Massa- 
chusetts. He says that Maverick suggested inviting in the inhabitants gener- 
ally and softens somewhat the account of his own comment on that occasion. 


PART the same strain, declaring ^^ it will be absolutely necessary 
• that you perform and pay all that reverence and obedience 
which is due from subjects to their king and which his Maj- 
esty will exact from you." The commissioners also, as they 
began the negotiation, delivered a statement of their own, 
protesting in language of needless irritation against the 
alleged slanders which had been circulated about the object 
of their mission. 

These expressions both from the home government and its 
agents, we must believe, made an unfavorable impression at 
the outset, though in view of the past history and present 
attitude of Massachusetts utterances in that style were most 
natural. When taken in connection with the known attitude 
of at least all the commissioners except Nicolls toward the 
colony, and with what was partly known and partly surmised 
about the real object of their coming, they strengthened the 
resolution of the Massachusetts leaders to stand by their 
charter. They would not allow the rights which they had 
enjoyed under it to be diminished in any essential particular. 
This augured ill for the hopes of the king, through the com- 
mission, to secure the right of appointing a governor, or of 
controlling the militia, or of hearing appeals from the colony. 

During the first week of the negotiation the commissioners 
delivered to the magistrates all their instructions of a public 
nature which concerned Massachusetts. In the meantime 
the election was held and Bellingham was chosen governor. 
He was less violent in his temper than Endicott had been, 
and in times past had occasionally opposed the dominant 
clique of magistrates and elders. But on questions like those 
which were now at issue Bellingham was in no way inclined 
to yield. To the instructions which merely called for in- 
formation a ready assent was given. It was stated that a 
map showing the bounds of the colony was in preparation ; 
that the records showing what the relations of Massachusetts 
and of the United Colonies had been with the Indians would 
be submitted; an account of the schools and especially of 
the college at Cambridge was furnished; statistics concern- 
ing government, industry, and population were prepared; 
such explanation of the Whalley and Goffe episode as was 


possible was given ; while they were not conscious of having CHAP. 
" greatly violated " the navigation act and they were sure ^ ^^ 
they had no law against it. The Massachusetts book of laws 
was submitted, and various changes in it were suggested 
by the commissioners. 

The task of explaining or justifying their treatment of the 
king's letter of 1662 the magistrates found more difficult. 
Of its commands the only one which had been promptly 
obeyed was that to administer justice in the king's name. 
On the arrival of the royal commissioners in 1664 the law 
relating to the admission of freemen had been so changed as 
to technically, though not really, comply with the king's 
command. Of the remaining orders, those to administer the 
oath of aUegiance and to permit the use of the Book of Com- 
mon Prayer had not been carried into effect. As to the oath 
of allegiance, it was now said that many who were in office 
had taken it before they left England, while it had been ad- 
ministered to Matthew Cradock, the first governor of the 
company. Their oaths of fidelity and of office were also 
cited as the equivalent of the oath of allegiance, though they 
were worded quite differently, and both contained the clause, 
^^ considering how I stand obliged to the king's majesty, his 
heirs and successors by our charter and the government es- 
tablished thereby." This clearly withdrew from his obliga- 
tion to the king the entire content of the subject's obligation 
to Massachusetts, and in view of this fact Nicolls told the 
court that he did not see how it could be acceptable to his 
Majesty. As to the position of Anglicans in the colony the 
commissioners expressed themselves as wholly dissatisfied, 
while they could not understand the wording of the new law 
respecting the admission of freemen.^ 

But the discussions between the commissioners and the 
magistrates came to a crisis when the former announced 
their purpose to hear appeals and to sit as a court of justice 
for that purpose in the colony. As we have seen, they were 
authorized by their commission to do this, though the mild 
tone of their instructions had seemed to preclude such 

1 Mass. Bees. IV. 102, 200, 201 ; Danforth Papen, 72-80 ; Eaye, op, cU. 110. 


PABT action. The right had been exercised by them in Rhode 
' J Island, and in two cases they proposed to try their power 
in Massachusetts. One of these arose from a complaint of 
Thomas Deane concerning the failure of the Massachusetts 
government to aid him and others in the prosecution of the 
ship Charles^ from the French island of Oleron, which had 
in 1661 entered the port of Boston in violation of the navi- 
gation act. The magistrates, on the other hand, claimed to 
have done full justice by Deane and other parties involved.^ 
The other case concerned one John Porter, said to have been 
a worthless fellow who, having been imprisoned on the 
charge of wilful disobedience to parents, had either been 
banished or had broken jail. The commissioners had met 
him in Warwick, Rhode Island, and, on hearing his com- 
plaint, had granted him the king's protection and ordered 
him to appear at Boston for a hearing before them.^ 

When it was announced that these cases were to be heard, 
the one concerning Porter being peculiarly irritating to 
the Massachusetts authorities, the general court protested 
against the action as an infringement of their patent. The 
commissioners in reply desired a conference with a commit- 
tee of the court. A committee of eight was appointed to 
meet them. At the conference which followed, in reply to 
the claim of the commissioners that their instruction to hear 
appeals was not an infringement of the grant, but was im- 
plied in the very nature of the colony and its patent, the 
committee of the court pleaded that full and absolute au- 
thority to govern the colony had been given by the charter. 
They also argued that submission to appeals, especially in 
criminal cases, would prove an insufferable burden to indi- 
viduals and make endless trouble for the government. The 
effect of remoteness, as compared with corporations located 
in England, Scotland, or Ireland, was emphasized.^ When 
the commissioners stated that they would try cases without 

1 Danforth Papeis, 71, S8 ; Mass. Recs. IV>. 104, 214. 

s Mass. Recs. lY*. 137, 174, 216 ; Cartwright, op. cU, 93 et seq. adds inter- 
esting details tending to show peisonal animus on the part of the accusers of 
Porter, and a desire on the part of the commissioners to see josUoe done. 

• Mass. Recs. IV^. 106, 232. 


a jury and according to the law of England, the committee CHAP, 
sought to appl;g in an exclusive sense to Massachusetts the ^^' 
principle that subjects should be tried by the law of the 
land. They also regarded it as intolerable to submit to a 
tribunal whose law was its own discretion. With this 
notable utterance on the subject of appeals the conference 
ended. ^ 

The commissioners next asked the court to name a place 
where they might sit and hear complaints. The court de- 
clared itself ready, if the commissioners would name specific 
cases, to submit copies of their proceedings therein; but 
beyond that it would not go. The commissioners closed 
the discussion with a warm protest against the attitude of 
suspicion and disobedience assumed by the court, and with 
the announcement that the next morning they would sit at 
the house of Captain Thomas Breedon and hear the case 
of Deane. The court then stated that it did not consent to 
or approve of the proceedings of the commissioners, nor did 
it consist with their allegiance so to do. 

The next morning, an hour before the commissioners were 
to meet, a herald was sent to Breedon's house, and after- 
wards through the town, proclaiming the fact with sound of 
trumpet that the court was forbidden. This action was de- 
cisive ; the hearing did not occur. The commissioners then 
abruptly closed negotiations, declaring that, ^^ since you will 
needs misconstrue all these letters and endeavors, and that 
you will make use of that authority he [the king] hath 
given you to oppose that sovereignty which he hath over 
you, we shall not lose more of our labors upon you, but 
refer it to his Majesty's wisdom, who is of power enough 
to make himself to be obeyed in aU his dominions, and do 
assure you that we shall not represent your denying of his 
commission in any other words than you yourselves have 
expressed it in your several papers under your secretary's 
hand." In another communication they used this sugges- 
tive language, "The king did not grant away his Sover- 

^ Cartwright states, op, dt, 07, that when the facts had been proved, as 
in the case of Deane, the commissioners would proceed without a juiy ; in 
the case of Porter they would have *' considered *' the law of the colony. 


PART aigntie over you when he made you a Corporation. When 
His Majestie gave you power to make wholesome laws and 
to administer Justice by them, he parted not with his right 
of judging whether those laws were wholesome, or whether 
justice was administered accordingly or no. When His 
Majesty gave you authority over such of his subjects as 
lived within the limits of your jurisdiction, he made them 
not your subjects nor you their supream authority."^ The 
issue between Massachusetts and the crown was essentially 
one of sovereignty, and it was never more clearly stated 
than in these sentences. The court submitted later a de- 
tailed and vigorous defence of its position in all its bearings, 
and upon the matter of appeals and the ecclesiastical system 
it stood firm to the last. The case of Deane was also re- 
opened by the colony and the commissioners were invited 
to the hearing. They, of course, refused to attend. Nicolls 
now returned to New York, and the other commissioners 
went to the Piscataqua to undertake the settlement of con- 
troversies in that region. By so doing, as weU as by their 
express utterances, they confessed that the attempt to bring 
Massachusetts into submission through a royal commission 
had failed. Nearly a month had been spent in the effort 
and nothing decisive had been accomplished. The charter 
stood in the way, and, as events still further ripened, it be- 
came evident that that obstacle must be removed before the 
plans of the home government could attain success. 

When the commissioners were about leaving England for 
the colonies, a royal letter was written commanding Massa- 
chusetts to surrender the Province of Maine to Ferdinando 
Gorges. Another letter was written to the inhabitants of 
Maine, commanding them to submit to Gorges. Nicolls 
was also appointed by Mason as his attorney, a suggestion 
of the fact that all those who were assailing Massachusetts 
stood near to the Duke of York and that his enterprise on 
the Hudson was more closely connected with the attack on 
New England and on the charters than has generally been 
supposed. But the war with the Dutch was just beginning 
and the fear that De Ruyter might make a descent on New 

1 Mass. Recs. IV >. 210; N. Y. Col. Docs. IH. 09. 


York forced the immediate return of NicoUs to his own CHAP, 
province, and prevented active participation on his part ^^ 
in the doings of the commissioners among the eastern settle- 
ments. But the region beyond Sagadahoc, later to be organ- 
ized as the county of Cornwall, had been granted to the 
Duke of York, and any settlement which might favor the 
king's interests on the Piscataqua and in Maine could hardly 
fail to affect the remote outposts also.^ 

John Archdale — probably the same man who later became 
a proprietor and governor of South Carolina — came over 
with the commissioners in 1664 as agent * for Gorges. His 
influence was later felt in Martha's Vineyard, as well as in 
the region farther north. By him the royal letters in favor 
of Gorges which have just been referred to were delivered, 
the one to the magistrates of Massachusetts, and the other to 
Henry Josselyn and Edward Rush worth, who were acting 
on behalf of Gorges in Maine. These men, with Archdale, 
obtained from some of the inhabitants of the region an ac- 
knowledgment of their submission to the claims of Gorges. 
They also wrote to the magistrates of Massachusetts, de- 
manding the withdrawal of its authority. On November 80, 
1664, while the royal commissioners were occupied with the 
reduction of New Netherland, the magistrates at Boston 
replied to this letter, claiming Maine as within the bounds 
of their patent and insisting that agents of Gorges should 
not attempt to exercise powers of government there. The 
king, they said, had promised that they should be heard in 
England, and until a decision had been reached there no other 
authority than their own should be recognized. The general 
court, at its session in May, 1665, issued a proclamation 
declaring the government of Massachusetts still in force in 
Yorkshire ; courts were to be held as usual and all officers 
were commanded to perform their duties.^ The map which 
was prepared for the commissioners included, as within 
Massachusetts, all the territory as far north as Casco bay ; 

1 N. Y. Col. Docs. m. 101. 

s Colonial Papen, 1661-1668, 258, 272, 402 ; ibid. 1660>1674, 54, 320, 330; 
Hatchinaon Fapen, IL 110 ; Williamson, Hist, of Maine, I. 414 ; Kaye, op. 
cU. 116. * Mass. Bees. IV^. 243-248. 


PART while a detailed statement of this claim, supported by docu- 
^^' J ments, was prepared.^ 

Meantime, however, an assembly of Gorges^ supporters 
was held at Wells and some orders for the government of 
the region were issued. Archdale was made colonel of the 
militia, and " several private trainings " were held. Such 
was the situation when, in June, 1665, Carr, Cartwright, and 
Maverick appeared among the eastern settlements. They 
assumed that Massachusetts could not rightfully claim au- 
thority north of the bound house, " 3 large miles north from 
the Merrimac River."* They therefore attempted to organ- 
ize government there in the king's name. With the assist- 
ance of one Abraham Corbett and a few other discontented 
persons, chiefly at Portsmouth, they sought to make it ap- 
pear that there was a general demand for a change. We 
hear suggestions of a resort to intimidation, while it is quite 
probable that Carr and Cartwright used threats and made 
imposing claims. 

At Portsmouth, relying on a letter from the king that 
the forts should be strengthened as a defence against the 
Dutch, an assembly was called by the royal commissioners. 
But an appeal of John Cutt and others, of the board of 
selectmen, to the governor and council at Boston, drew from 
them an order forbidding the inhabitants to obey any of the 
commands of the commissioners. The meeting, however, was 
held, and a number of names were signed to a petition 
asking the king to set them free from the government of 
Massachusetts. The inhabitants of Portsmouth and Dover, 
who were loyal to Massachusetts, transmitted to the general 
court a signed statement of the fact. Finally, the appear- 
ance of Danforth, Lasher and Leverett, as commissioners 
from Massachusetts, proved decisive. Corbett was arrested 
and taken to Boston as a prisoner. The royal commissioners 
were unable to secure a following which possessed strength 
at all sufficient to overcome the influence of Massachusetts 
and its reputation for efficient government. 

In Maine the way had been better prepared for them, and 

1 Maes. Kecs. IV >. 236-243. 

a N. Y. Col. Docs. m. 99, 101 ; Mass. Recs. IV^. 265-273. 


more men of standing could be counted among their sup- CHAP, 
porters. Those settlements they formally received into the 
king's protection, and some of their leading inhabitants were 
empowered to act as justices of the peace. From Maine 
they passed for a brief visit to the Duke of York's grant 
east of the Kennebec, which they erected as a county and 
named Cornwall. Thence the three commissioners ^ re- 
turned to Massachusetts. A report to the king was then 
prepared, which related their doings in all the colonies they 
had visited, and drew sharply the contrast between the oppo- 
sition shown in Massachusetts and the spirit of submission 
which seemed to exist elsewhere. It was a frank confession 
of the failure of the commission to bring about any change 
in the attitude of Massachusetts toward the crown. Cart- 
wright sailed with the report for England, but on the voyage 
was captured by a Dutch cruiser ; some of the papers of the 
commission were lost, but after long delay the report reached 

Before the commissioners finally separated, the general 
court of Massachusetts had sent another address to the king,^ 
complaining of the partisan spirit which had been shown by 
all the members of the board except Nicolls, of their attempts 
to undermine the government of the colony and to arouse 
enemies against it within and without. The court begged 
that the unfavorable representations which it was probable 
the commissioners would make on their return to England 
might not be received as the truth. 

The commissioners, on their part, enlarged upon the 
futility of more correspondence and expressly referred to be 
the revocation of the charter of Massachusetts as likely to 
the only effective remedy.^ Maverick wrote * to Clarendon, 
suggesting, as means to bring Massachusetts to terms, that 
only persons specially licensed should be permitted to trade 
with New England, and that this measure should be enforced 

» Mass. Bees. IV«. 24»-265, 266-273 ; N. Y. Col. Docs. HL 101, 106-116; 
N. H. ProTincial Papen, I. 270^296 ; Colls. N. Y. Hist Soc. Fond Series, 1869, 
71, 188. The report, in completed form, is in Colonial Papers, 1661-1668, 841. 

« MasB. CoL Recs. IV^. 274. » N. H. Prov. Papers, I. 264. 

* Colls. N. Y. Hist Soc. Fund Series, 1869, 70. 


PART by two vessels stationed off the coast. Boston merchants 
^^ who proved refractory might be punished by seizing their 
estates in England, and a few of the most disloyal inhabit- 
ants might be sent to England. He suggested Bellingham, 
Hathorne, Gookin, Waldron, and Oliver as fit persons to be 
dealt with in this manner. Nicolls in later communications 
to Arlington and Morrice at first expressed the hope that 
the transfer of trade by natural process from Boston to New 
York would induce a change of spirit. Later, he thought 
that an embargo on the trade of Massachusetts might be 
resorted to with good results, for he believed it would soon 
induce the well affected to give up the ringleaders.^ 

In April, 1666, the king issued a circular letter to the col- 
onies of New England, in which satisfaction was expressed 
with the attitude of all except Massachusetts. In that colony, 
he declared, the opinion seemed to be that the commission was 
a violation of its charter, that the king had no jurisdiction 
over them, and that there was no right of appeal. The king 
therefore had recalled his commissioners, and ordered that the 
general court should send to England four or five agents, of 
whom Bellingham and Hathorne should be two, that a full in- 
quiry into the points at issue might be had. In the mean- 
time affairs in the Province of Maine should remain as the 
commissioners had left them. A letter was at the same time 
sent to Rhode Island ^ contrasting its dutiful conduct with 
the deportment of Massachusetts. 

When this command was received, a division began to ap- 
pear among the people and was reflected in the general 
court of Massachusetts. A petition^ signed by more than 
one hundred inhabitants of Boston, Salem, Newbury, and 
Ipswich, was presented to the general court, urging a reason- 
able acknowledgment of the sovereign rights of the king 
and submission to his will. "The receiving of a charter 
from his Majesty's royal predecessor for the planting of this 
colony," said the petitioners, "with a confirmation of the 

1 N. Y. CoL Docs. in. 114 ; Colonial Papers, 1661-1668, 310, 415. 
« Colonial Papers, 1661-1668, 372, 373. 

s The Danforth Papers, 99, 103; Colonial Papers, 1661-1668, 421 ; Colls. 
N. Y. Hist Soo. Fond Series, 1869, 127, 182. 


same from his royal person, . . . suflSciently declares this CHAP, 
place to be a part of his dominions, and ourselves his sub- 
jects." They asked that nothing further be done which 
should tend to provoke the resentment of the king. Among 
the magistrates also a debate occurred in which Bradstreet 
urged that agents be sent to England, for though the king 
might not be able to reach the colony by legal process, his 
prerogative gave him power to command their appearance. 
Willoughby, the deputy governor, met this with the argu- 
ment that they must obey God rather than man. On the 
one side it was urged that the relations between Massachu- 
setts and the crown were not in essence different from those 
between the crown and Calais. On the other side it was 
said to be ^^ too hard to put us in the same condition with 
Calais." Thus the representatives of the trade centres in 
the colony and of those whose ardor for the Puritan ecclesi- 
astical system had cooled, or had never been strong, sought 
to make their interests felt and to bring Massachusetts more 
fully into hannony with the conditions of the growing co- 
lonial system. The colony had never wholly lacked testi- 
monies of this character, but they were henceforth to increase 
in volume and importance. Maverick had rightly perceived 
that the wise course for the home government would be to 
encourage this division of sentiment. 

The general court vented the irritation which the petition 
had caused by ordering its foremost signers to appear, but 
no record of further action has been preserved. In a letter 
to Secretary Morrice the general court declined to send the 
agents whom the king had ordered and committed their 
cause to God and the clemency of their prince. 

France had now allied itself with the Dutch in their war 
with the English, and in an earlier letter from the king 
Massachusetts had been authorized to confer with Sir Thomas 
Temple, the proprietor of Nova Scotia, about a joint attack 
on Canada. Temple visited Boston for the purpose of pro- 
moting this plan. But Massachusetts replied that it^ was 
not possible for her to undertake so distant an enterprise 

^ Mass. Col. Recs. IV^. 328; Danforth Papers, 108; Col. Papers, 1661- 


PABT and one of such doubtful issue. The only step which was 
^' J taken to conciliate the English government was the sending 
of a present of masts to the king. But the war, resulting as 
it did in the downfall of the Clarendon ministry, diverted 
attention from New England affairs, and gave Massachusetts 
a respite for ten years. The heirs of Gorges and Mason 
took no further steps to establish their rights among the 
eastern settlements. Massachusetts, through her commis- 
sioners, fully restored her control in 1668, and maintained it 
without further opposition till the question was again opened 
in England. 



Thboughout the entire period of history within which CHAP, 
occurred the settlement of the American colonies mercantilr ^^' 
ism was the dominant theory of trade and industrial organi- 
zation in Europe. According to this theory the nation or 
empire which had attained a tolerable degpree of political 
unity became, by virtue of that very fact, an economic unit. 
In war and diplomacy the nation figured before the world as 
in a sense a personality, with a distinct and, on the whole, a 
self-consistent policy. The same thing was considered to 
hold true in the economic sphere. Trade, therefore, was 
not free. The merchant or the subject, as well when 
considered as a producer or consumer, was not regarded as 
simply an individual, with relations which were quite as 
likely to be cosmopolitan as national. He was primarily 
and essentially an Englishman or a Frenchman, and was 
bound by law and custom to seek through his transactions 
the advantage of his country and its prince. This involved 
an application on a national scale of the policy which had 
prevailed in the medisBval cities and their leagues. In the 
case of England, because of the early date at which national 
unity was there attained, it appeared from the first as the 
policy of the country as a whole. As England began to ex- 
pand and the empire to take form, the dependencies came 
within the reach of the same policy. 

In the opinion of the mercantilist, trade and industry 
should be so organized as to secure the maximum of national 
strength. It was the duty of statesmen to so regulate them 
as to attain this end, and in doing this a reasoned policy 
should be followed. Results were most conveniently meas- 
ured by increase of revenue to the prince or the nation. 
There was no limit to the possibility of regulation, provided 
it could reasonably be supposed that it would attain the end 

▼OL. HI — o 193 


PART that was sought. The well-known policy which was ap- 
^^' plied by statesmen of this period to the circulation of the 
precious metals, to exports and imports in general, and which 
was summed up in the doctrine of the balance of trade, was 
a deduction from this general principle. The organization of 
trade and its regulation from one centre, whether it were car- 
ried on by means of incorporated companies or by individ- 
uals subject to general laws, was determined by this motive 
and had the national well-being as its conscious object. It 
was natural that in the application of this policy England 
should not proceed with the logical rigor which characterized 
French methods in the time of Colbert; but a reasonable 
degree of consistency was maintained even by the English. 

As has been already suggested, it was th e development of 
national strength, the increase of wealth and of pr estige 
throughout the world, which gave to colonization its^^ief 
interest in the eyes of English statesmen. This was dis- 
tinctively the imperialistic motive. It involved an applica- 
tion of the mercantilist policy on the broader stage of trans- 
oceanic commerce and to relations between England and her 
dependencies across sea. In this sphere primary, though 
not exclusive, reference was had to the interests of the island 
kingdom. That was the central planet, and the colonies 
were its satellites. The European constellation, and not the 
American, was the centre of the system. In this connection 
the strengthening of the navy and of the merchant marine 
presented itself very clearly as one object to be sought. The 
merchant ships and vessels of the navy must not only be used 
for the defence of the dependencies, but they furnished the 
only means of even approximately bridging the Atlantic. By 
carrying colonists, officials, commodities, and communications 
of all kinds across the ocean they formed a most important 
element in the system of "supplies" which, with the extension 
of colonization, broadened out into the entire mechanism 
of communication between Great Britain and its colonies. 
Many of the plantations, as they were settled, became the 
source of large supplies of tropical, or semitropical, products 
which were of the greatest value for British consumption 
or trade. The effort to secure for England the greatest ad- 


vantage from this fact suggested a second featu?:^, pLcomiiier- CHAP, 
cial policy relating to the colonies. Still another aspect of ^ ^ ^ 
tiw-genend^problem was presented by the import trade of 
the colonies and their demand for British products as com- 
pared with their demand for European goods in general. 
Clearly connected with this was the advantage or disadvan- 
tage which might arise from direct trade between British colo- 
nies and the colonies of other nations, whether those situated 
on the American continent or on adjacent islands or elsewhere. 
Finally, as the colonies grew in population and wealth, the 
possibility arose of their developing manufactures, and this 
^^iiecessitated the consideration of the relation which these 
would bear to the manufactures of Great Britain, 
""^uch were the elements in the problem of commercial 
relations within the growing British empire. The empire, 
however, was by no means a political unit, for its various 
parts, separated as they were by thousands of miles of ocean, 
had each its distinct tendencies and interests. But the 
application within this vast complex of the traditional views 
of the merchants, statesmen, and theorists of the day con- 
cerning what might be the interests of England when consid- 
ered as the sovereign power, gave rise to British commercial 
policy as applied within the empire. The devices which 
were used were not new or invented for this special purpose. 
They had been used of old in England and were in general 
vogue among the nations of the time. All that was neces- 
sary was to apply them in somewhat new and broadened relsr 
tions. . One device was to insist by statute that all or certain 
imports should be carried exclusively on ships owned ,^d 
manned By "EtTgl Tshmen^^ The effect intended by this was to 
encourage sliipbuilding at home and to secure the d.oir)ifistic 
c arrymg trade for Englishmen.^ It gave rise to what was 
known as the navigation law proper, a nd it was an exten- 
sion and adaptation of a policy which liad been resorted to at 
intervals since the time of Richard II. 

Another device — that of the staple — was much older 
and had been much more widely practised. It had been cus- 
tomary to designate certain towns as places where commodi- 
ties of a special class should be brought for purchase and 




PABT Bale. By a measure of this kind merchants were brought 
^' together, trade could more easily be supervised, and 
customs duties better levied and collected. Staple rigl^t s 
were enforced in all the important market to wns on the 
continent of Europe. Various Flemish towns, and later 
Calais, bore a prominent relation of this kind to the wool 
trade of England. By an ordinance of 1353 a number of 
towns in England were designated as staples for the wool 
trade. One of the most important features of the com- 
mercial policy of England, as it affected the colonies, arose 
from the effort to apply the principle of the staple to their 
trade. In this case England itself was to be the staple, 
and the purpose was to force all colonial imports and many 
of their exports to pass through its harbors. The feature 
of it which related to the colonial export trade came to be 
known as the policy of the enumerated commodities. The 
germ of this appeared in the controversy between the gov- 
ernment and the Virginia company, the former insisting 
that the entire colonial product of tobacco should be brought 
to England. No attempt was made to impose the corre- 
sponding restriction on the import trade of the colonies 
until after 1660. At no time during the seventeenth cen- 
tury were there colonial manufactures which demanded 
attention, while the granting of bounties on colonial prod- 
ucts was not begun until the eighteenth century. The 
system of subsidies and imposts, or British export and 
import duties, applied of course to colonial trade, as it did to 
that of the realm, throughout the period. At least as early as 
1660, and perhaps earlier^ ^ drawbacks were granted on colo- 
nial products which were reexported from England. The 
monopoly of the English market for enumerated com- 
modities it was always the interest of the home government 
to secure for the colonies. The cost of imperial defence also 
rested on Great Britain. Thus, though the fiscal motive 

1 See Declared Account, Privy Seal, March, 1631 (Mss. Public Record 
Office), where mention is made of a drawback in full of ^^♦fa .Vim?]yuJbLW^ 
impost on tobacco, If it were exported within a year after the duty was col- 
lected. Cal^S. P. Dom. 1633-1634, 634, indicates that a drawback on 
tobacco reshipped from England was then being allowed. 


was prominent in British commercial policy throughout, as CHAP, 
time passed compensating elements appeared in the meas- ^^^ 
ures which were applied to the colonies ; and these went 
far to relieve the monopolistic features which were certainly 
a chief characteristic of the system. 

The dissolution of the Virginia company made no essen- 
tial change in the attitude of the English government toward 
the tobacco industry. It repeatedly insisted that colonial 
tobacco should be sent exclusively to England. In the 
important proclamation of September, 1624, which was 
issued at the special request of parliament, the colonists 
were required in the clearest terms to bring their entire 
product in English or colonial ships, and that, in order 
to distinguish it from foreign tobacco which might be 
smuggled, it should be landed, inspected, and marked at 
the London custom house. ^ Though this proclamation 
lapsed with the death of James I, its principles were ad- 
hered to, and in later orders express reference was made to 
its contents as embodying valued ideas and precedents.' 
Virginia authorities usually expressed acquiescence in the 
policy, though free trade with the Dutch was attractive and 
was always indulged in to an extent by planters and mer- 
chants.^ Royal commissioners who were appointed in Eng- 
land labored for the same end. Such a body, at the head 
of which was Sir John Wolstenholme, made a strong report 
on the subject to the king in 1633, urging that the principle 

^ Bymer, XVIL 621. See also Colonial Papers, July 2, 1624, and sncoeed- 
ing entry, for the suggestions which may have led to the issue of this proc- 
lamation. The proclamation itself does not appear in the Calendar, but is 
referred to under December 13, 1624, and February 17, 1626. See Va. Mag. 
of Hist. Vn. 43, 44, 46. 

* See Proclamation, March 2, 1625 ; Rymer, XVII. 668. 

* Colonial Papers, 1674-1660, 84 ; Randolph Mss. Library of Va. Hist. 
Soc. fol. 203 et seq, A letter received from the privy council, in 1626, shows 
that the king was offended because they were sending tobacco to the Low 
Countries, to the diminution of his profit The governor and council reply, 
April 5, 1627, admitting that one vessel, owned by adventurers of the late 
Virginia company, had sailed with tobacco to the Low Countries. But 
about that matter they plead lack of orders, and promise for the future that 
bonds shall be taken to deliver all tobacco in England. In another letter 
they state that the entire crop of 1627 was shipped to London. 


FART of the staple should be maintained and detailing the adyan- 
tages which might be expected therefrom.^ In general we 
may say that the government of Charles I maintained an 
attitude on this subject which was consistent with that 
which had been assumed in 1621.^ 

During most or all of the seventeenth century the gov- 
ernment continued its efforts to suppress the production of 
tobacco in the realm and Ireland. Its production there was 
never large, but it was sufficient to arouse complaints from 
time to time on the part of colonists and merchants. To 
these the government faithfully responded, but at no time 
apparently with complete success.® 

Nor in its attitude toward Spanish tobacco can the govern- 
ment be fairly accused of disregard for colonial interests. 
We learn in 1625 that it was being smuggled into England, 
and Charles I appointed a commission, a part of whose duty it 
should be to discover such offenders.^ But the smuggling 
apparently continued, and in January, 1627,^ another com- 
mission was created. It was authorized to buy and import 
Spanish, or other foreign, tobacco not in excess of 60,000 
pounds. This small concession may have been made in 
response to a natural demand and as the readiest means to 
check smuggling. From 1631 to 1636 highly discriminating 
duties were levied upon the Spanish product, and after the 
latter date a policy of prohibition was followed. It is 

1 Colonial Papers, 1674-1660, 171. The report is printed, at least in 
part, by Cunningham, Growth of English Industry and Commerce, Modem 
Times, 343 n. 

« Va. Mag. of Hist VIII. 147, 163-154 ; Cal. S. P. Dom., April 17, 1634. 
The lords of the admiralty write that it had been the custom of the vessels 
from Virginia and other colonies to change captains at the Isle of Wight, 
thereby nominally conforming to the bond which they had given in the 
plantations to land at some place in the realm. Then by new contracts they 
would take their ships, so laden, to foreign ports. Ibid. October 23, 1637. 
The same complaint was then repeated by several farmers of the impost 

•Cal. S. P. Dom., August 9, 1627; January 6, 1631; March, 1634; 
April 21, 1636, and June 10, 1636 ; Ryraer, XIX. 236, 474, 622, 653. An act 
forbidding its cultivation was passed in 1662, and a number of acts against 
it subsequent to the Restoration. 

* Colonial Papers, 1674-1660, 63, 64, 71, 72, 83 ; Proclamation of 
March 2, 1626, Rymer, XVII. 668. Another proclamation, dated April 9, is 
referred to, Va. Mag. of Hist VIL 134. » Rymer, XVIII. 831. 


estimated that during the period in general not more than CHAP, 
one-tenth of the total amount of tobacco imported into Eng- 
land was of Spanish origin. 

Of course the only effective answer which the colonial 
producers could make to the importers and consumers of 
Spanish tobacco was, if possible, to make their product equal 
in quality to that of their rivals. If they were able to do 
this, they would check the decline in price, which even before 
1630 became one of the most serious questions with which 
the planters had to deal. But the quantity of the product, as 
well as its quality, affected its price, and because of the 
demand in the European markets and of the immediate return 
which was expected, the colonists committed themselves to 
its production on a larger and larger scale. Crude methods 
and conditions which accompanied this expansion of the in- 
dustry stood, however, in the way of the improvement of the 
product, while the rapid increase in its quantity sent the price 
down and kept it down. Protests and warnings were uttered 
by English officials, and at intervals these were embodied in 
royal instructions, the objects of which were to limit the pro- 
duction of tobacco and to improve its quality. The provinces 
themselves — Virginia in the lead — cooperated in these 
efforts by laws and administrative regulations. These took 
the form of the stint, also of inspection, still again of positive 
measures to encourage the production of other staple com- 
modities, and thus to diversify the industry of the province. 
And these measures did not cease with the Interregnum or 
the Restoration, but were perpetuated through the century. 
Jnjr629 the colonists were prohibited from raising more 
than 8000 plants for each tithable worker, unless the family 
consisted wholly of women and children. In 1630 the terms 
of this regulation were changed to 2000 plants for each mem- 
ber of a family, including women and children. In 1632 it 
was enacted that only 2000 plants per poll should be raised, 
and a crude attempt to enforce the restriction was made. 
Tobacco, when ready for the market, if not found merchant- 
able, was to be destroyed. These regulations were confirmed 
and extended at the first revision of the laws, in 1632.^ 

1 HeniDg, Statates of Virgmia, L 142, 162, 164, 188. 


PART In 1633 the assembly established a system of inspection. 
^' J It was provided that warehouses should be built at different 
points within the province, to which all tobacco, made up 
into rolls, must be brought before the last day of December 
of each year. The planters must swear that they had kept 
back none except what was allowed for their private use. At 
the warehouses the tobacco must be inspected by sworn offi- 
cers, one of whom must be the councillor who lived in the 
neighborhood. The poor tobacco was ordered to be burned 
and the good to be received into the stores on the planter's 
account. At the same time the number of plants to be 
raised was reduced to 1500 per poll, and provisions for 
inspecting the crop in the field were made more severe. 
Ships were ordered not to break bulk until they reached 
Jamestown, in order that there, as at a staple port, all 
exchanges of European commodities for tobacco might be 
made. But the product continued to increase so much 
more rapidly than did the market for it, that in 1639 the 
assembly ordered for the ensuing year that not only the 
bad but half the good tobacco should be destroyed.^ But 
under the most stringent regulations which could be en- 
forced the Virginia product which was annually brought 
to market considerably exceeded 1,000,000 pounds.^ For 
this reason Virginia planters were always dissatisfied with 
such contracts as Englishmen could offer for its sale, 
while access to other markets seemed an absolute necessity. 
Even at best under these conditions, though the quality 
slowly improved, the price of tobacco tended steadily down- 

While the cultivation of tobacco was being regulated for 
the purpose of limiting its production, laws were passed to 
promote the raising of corn and wheat. By a large number 
'\ of enactments, beginning with 1623, the production of these 
commodities was made compulsory. The usual requirement 
was that for every worker on a plantation two acres of land 

1 Ibid. 204, 210, 214, 225. 

3 The returns of the farmers of the Impost for 1638-1639, omitting the West 
Indies from consideratioD, would indicate an importation of about 1,320,000 


shotQd be planted with com. In 1630, and repeatedly CHAP, 
thereafter, it was enacted that any who were found delin- ^ ^^^' 
quent in this matter should forfeit all their tobacco. In 
1642 it was ordered that the constables should inspect the 
cornfields, and should compel the planters to pay the fines 
to which, for delinquency, they were liable by law. Many 
other regulations were issued during the century for the 
encouragement of these staple products. Efforts were also 
made to establish the production of the vine and mulberry, 
iron, salt, and other commodities. But the province con- 
tinued devoted to the cultivation of its peculiar staple, and 
all other forms of agriculture, so far especially as they 
affected exports, remained subsidiary. 

The government monopoly was the special form of admin- 
istrative control which was applied to the tobacco industry 
after, as well as before, the dissolution of the Virginia com- 
pany. In the fall of 1624 Edward Ditchfield and others, 
citizens of London, were appointed officers for searching and 
sealing tobacco, with a view to preventing the importation of 
the foreign product. But we are also told that the king 
contracted with them to act as his agents in receiving the 
tobacco from Virginia and the Somers islands at such prices 
as he had agreed to give for it. In addition they were 
to pay the crown such sums as would reasonably compensate 
it for losses in the customs and enable it to provide for 
the defence of the colonies. ^^ It is agreed on all sides," 
wrote the king, " that the tobacco of Virginia and the Somers 
islands (the only present means for their subsistence) cannot 
be managed for the good of the plantations unless it be 

^^l^broug^into one hand, whereas [whereby?] foreign tobacco 
i* JnSSj^Hie carefully kept out & the Tobacco of those plan- 
p^ tations may yield a certain and ready price to the owners." 
But the contract proved exceedingly offensive to the colo- 
nists, the governor and council calling it ^^ pernicious " and 
* declaring^ that under its operation supplies had been so 
scanty and conditions so desperate that many had resolved 

1 Colonial Papers, 1574-1660, 68, 60, 71, 74, 76-76, 84 ; Proclamation of 
March 2, 1626, in Rymer, XVn. 668 et seq. ; Ya. Mag. of Hist VII. 184, 
186. Ditchfield had been a member of the Virginia company. 



PART to return to England in order to petition for redress. But 
J instead, as we have seen, Sir George Yeardley was sent over 
as agent. He procured additional supplies, presumably at 
lower prices, and a promise of free importation, so that in 
April, 1626, a letter of grateful acknowledgment was sent 
to the king. But the commission which was created in 
January, 1627, with Sir John Wolstenholme at its head, was 
authorized to buy and contract for the entire product of the 
English colonies, and one Amys was prominently concerned 
in this business. We learn that, early in April, the planters 
and adventurers of Virginia and the Somers islands were 
called together at Sir John's house, and there, by order of 
the privy council, were told what quantity of tobacco they 
should import and the price the king would pay for it. But 
they with one voice rejected both proposals, the quantity and 
price they said not being sufficient to maintain the people in 
the colonies ; and they asked that the king would allow them 
to retain possession of their tobacco and dispose of it as they 
liked. The people of Virginia had also learned of the proj- 
ect, and through Yeardley and the council protested against 
all contracts. The news, it was said, had " deadened their 
spirits and plunged them into misery." They besought 
the privy council " not to let them fall into the hands of 
avaricious and cruel men, whose exorbitant and wide con- 
sciences project and digest the ruin of this plantation for 
profit and gain to themselves." But, on August 9, a royal 
proclamation was issued ^ prohibiting the importation of 
tobacco from the English colonies without a license under 
the great seal and commanding that, when imported, it should 
be sold to the commissioners appointed for that purpose, 
from whom alone tobacco might be bought. Not later 
than the beginning of 1628, however, this contract was dis- 
solved, much to the gratification of the colonists.^ Early 
in 1628 we find Governor West and his council asking 
that 500,000 pounds be taken annually, and that "any 
overplus they may export after paying custom." 

1 Rymer, XVIII. 831 ; Colonial Papers, 1674-1660, 83-84, 86 ; CaL S. P. 
Dom., August 9, 1627 ; Bruce, Economic Hist of Va. I. 278, 284. 
« Colonial Papers, 1674-1660, 89, 90 ; Va. Mag. of Hist. VIL 261. 


Although, in 1631, a new board of Virg^ia commissioners CHAP, 
was appointed, no contract was formed with them. But the ^^^ 
colonists continued to complain of alleged extortion on the 
part of individual merchants, and so much tobacco was di- 
rectly exported to foreign ports, that in 1634 the king re- 
solved again to take the sole preemption of it at fair prices, 
and appointed another commission to take charge of the 
business.^ One John S toner was sent as an agent to nego- 
tiate with the colonists. His death on the outward voyage, 
together with the uprising against Governor Harvey which 
occurred soon after, seems to have interrupted this experi- 
ment. No further important steps were taken until 1637 
and 1638, when the Virginia assembly, acting on a sugges- 
tion from the king, made provision for an officer to keep a 
register of tobacco and of all other ^ commodities exported, 
and a contract was again proposed. 

George Lord Goring, who was one of the farmers of the 
customs in England, now offered to take 1,600,000 pounds of 
tobacco at 6(2. per pound in Virginia or 8<2. in England. As 
the price had recently been only 2d, per pound, the governor 
and council thought that this was an advantageous offer, and 
urged the burgesses to accept it. Long debates ensued, the 
assembly, it is said, devoting more than a month to the con- 
sideration of the subject. Attention was called to the pov- 
erty and other ills which resulted from excessive planting of 
tobacco and to the declining prices of European goods when 
estimated in its terms. The contract, it was urged, gave an 
opportunity for limiting the product, raising its price, and 
improving its quality. But no effect could be produced. 
The burgesses saw ruin staring them in the face, if any 
stint were imposed upon them which was not shared by all 
the tobacco-producing colonies, in the West Indies as well 
as elsewhere. Voicing the sentiments of the colonists at 
large, they declared that it was impossible to fix in advance 
the amount of the product. This could be done only by 
stopping the influx of immigrants. But they were arriving 
steadily and rapidly, and were taking up new land and 

1 Rymer, XIX. 660 ; Va. Mag. of Hist. VIII., 159, 300, 302. 
> Ibid, IX. 176 ; Colonial Papers, 1674-1660, 239. 


PABT entering upon the culture of the staple. This process could 
^' J not be checked, and in their opinion it necessitated freedom 
in the planting of tobacco and free trade with England. 
They were evidently content with the rude comforts which 
they enjoyed, and considered it safer to endure the privations 
which accompanied them than to change the course of set- 
tlement to which they had become accustomed. They were 
therefore opposed to monopoly and restrictions. 

This utterance of the burgesses proved decisive. ^Jerome 
Hawley wrote that he did not think a contract would ever 
be agreed to, ^' if it depends upon the yielding of an assem- 
bly," and if it passed otherwise, without binding all other 
colonies, the ruin and depopulation of Virginia might be 
expected. At the same time the outbreak of civil troubles 
in England made it impossible for the government to fur- 
ther consider contracts or monopolies. The objects which 
the British government had sought, and toward which the 
officials in Virginia had to an extent contributed, were not 
fully attained. The production of tobacco had not been 
effectually limited, its quality had not been sufficiently im- 
proved, while the production of other staples languished. 
The Dutch had now settled on the Delaware and were 
therefore more accessible to the ports of Virginia and Mary- 
land than before. This, together with other causes,^ made 
the complete enforcement of the principle of the staple an 
impossibility, while we continue to hear complaints of the 
smuggling of Spanish tobacco into the realm and of the im- 
perfect enforcement of the prohibition of raising the product 
in English gardens. 

During the Civil War and until the establishment of the 
Protectorate no steps were taken to check trade between the 
Dutch and the American colonies. Being uninterrupted 
and mutually advantageous, it naturally increased. But 
the increase of the Dutch carrying trade gradually aroused 

1 Winder Papers, Va. State Library; Va. Mag. of Hist IX. 409; X, 271. 

' For one interesting statement of the advantages to the fair trader of the 
exportation of tobacco in casks rather than in bulk, see Colonial Papers, 
August 13, 1687. We may suppose that these conditions were operative at 
all times. 


the jealousy of the English merchants, and commercial ri- CHAP, 
yalry in various quarters of the globe became acute. Many 
occasions of irritation and jealousy arose. The result was 
that, in 1650, the Rump Parliament introduced into the act 
already referred to, for the reduction of Virginia and the 
rebellious Island colonies, a clause forbidding ships of foreign 
nations to trade with any of the English colonies without a 
license from parliament or the council of state. ^ No dec- 
laration that England intended to monopolize trade with her 
colonies could well be stronger than this. 

But the ordinance of 1650 was essentially a war measure. 
The following year, however, the much more famous navigfa- 
tion act of the Commonwealth was passed. Though in rigor 
this fell short of the earlier ordinance, yet it set forth in out- 
line the main features of the old navigation policy, at the same 
time extending them and casting them in a form which in 
general they were to retain for more than a century and a 
half.* It provided that no goods of the growth or manufac- 
ture of the outlying continents of Asia, Africa, or America 
should be imported into England or its dominions except in 
ships of which the owner, the master, and the major part of 
the mariners were English; and likewise that no produc- 
tions of Europe should be imported into England or the 
dominions except in English ships or in such foreign ships 
as belonged to the country where the goods were produced or 
manufactured. Goods of foreign origin must also be brought 
direct to England from the place of growth or production, 
or from the places whence alone they could be shipped or 
whence they were usually first shipped after transportation. 
Th6 importation of fish by aliens was also prohibited. 

This act, more directly than its predecessor of 1650, was 
aimed at the carrying trade of the Dutch, and it contributed 
toward the war between the two nations which began in 1652. 
But in neither act was provision made for additional officials 
or for other administrative mechanism to aid in its enforce- 
ment. There is proof, however, that the navy was used for the 

^ Soobell, Acts and Oidinances of the Long Parliament, 1S2 ; Beer, Crom- 
welPs Commercial Policy, PoL ScL Qoarterly, XYIL 
> ScobeU, 16& 


PART purpose among the Leeward islands and at Barbadoes.^ In 
^^' J 1656 ^ a Virginian merchant or planter sought to explain the 
existing low price of tobacco by the fact that the Dutch 
were excluded from the trade. It was said that many had 
been ruined by it. But he also admitted that the trade 
was still secretly carried on through New Netherland, though 
this was done at a loss. As British armed vessels scarcely 
ever visited Virginia waters or the coast farther north during 
the period in question, it is fair to suppose that trade with 
the Dutch continued, though probably somewhat reduced in 
amount. The claim of the Virginians that, by the articles 
of surrender, they were entitled to freedom of trade with 
all nations, and the passage by them of acts early in 1660 ^ 
forbidding masters of vessels to molest friendly aliens 
who were trading in the waters of the province, would 
indicate that the facts corresponded largely with their 

Such other fragmentary evidence as exists goes to confirm 
this view. In 1663, or thereabouts, John Bland, a London 
merchant who had invested heavily in the Virginia trade, 
wrote an able protest^ against the policy of England as set 
forth in the first act of trade of Charles IL His argu- 
ment was based throughout on the admission that after, as 
well as before, the act of 1651, trade with the Dutch in to- 
bacco was carried on freely by the planters of both provinces 
on the Chesapeake. English traders, as well as Hollanders, 
shared in this traffic. He states, it is true, that tobacco was / 
the only commodity which the Dutch carried away from / 
those provinces, and that they selected only the quality which 
suited the market of Holland ; but tobacco was the only 
commodity of importance which those provinces had to ex- ^ 
port. He implies that European goods were freely brought 
in on the return voyages, for he contrasts the prices at which 
Virginians had recently been able to command them with the 
higher rates which were being demanded now that the coterie 

1 Thurloe, State Papers, III. 142, 158, 240, 566, 754 ; Beer, op. cU. 47. 
a Thurloe, V. 80. « Hening, I. 383, 518, 535, 540. 

^ Ya. Mag. of Hist 1. 142. In the Colonial Papers it is erroneously calen- 
dared under 1676. 


of English merchants, whom he charges with having brought CHAP, 
about the passage of the new act of trade, were able to mo- v_ZL^ 
nopolize the traffic. A thoroughgoing free trade argument, 
used for the purpose of showing that under the regime of 
freedom the wealth and prosperity of all parties concerned 
would be most enhanced, Bland upheld by this suggestive 
statement: ^^I am sure upon the first obtaining the Act in 
the Long Parliament, our traders to Virginia and Mariland 
carried the Tobacco from those colonies to those of Holland 
themselves and neither paid duties in the country nor in Eng- 
land, and so they would do still if permitted; wherein it is 
apparent its their own interests that is sought after; for the 
custom, let the Hollanders trade thither or not, will be the 
same in England, and rather increase than decrease if they 
be permitted to trade thither; for, as the colonies increase 
they will grow to better husbandry, and so by the production 
of better commodities make our customs the greater." But 
Bland was speaking to deaf ears. The merchants and states- 
men of the period were resolved that, if possible, tobacco 
should be prevented from reaching continental markets ex- 
cept on English vessels and through English ports. 

The policy set forth in the acts of trade which were passed 
during the period of the Restoration was an expansion and 
systematizing of the principles which were already accepted. 
They were the fostering of the navy and the promotion of 
shipbuilding, combined with the establishment of such a 
monopoly over colonial trade as could be secured by mak- 
ing England the staple for the colonies. Parliament was 
also careful to call attention to the fact, that it was ^^ the 
usage of other nations to keep their plantation trade to them- 
selves."^ To the advantages of the legislation, so far as it 
affected shipping, the colonists were fully admitted. 

The navigation act proper, in this group of statutes,* pro- 
vided that ng coguppdities^should be imported i^\^ ^^ ^^- 
porte d out of any (jf the dominions or plantatioy a, jBa;rfipt ^^ 

1 The policy of the English gOTemment is weU stated in the preamble to 
the act of 1668, 16 Car. IL c. 7. > 12 Car. n. c. 18. 


PABT the rea inu jrelan cL o r the plantations ^ and of w hich the 
* masters and threie:;fourths of the mariners were Eng lish; that 
no alien should^be a merchant or factor in the said dpi^inions; 
that n o goods, the growth or production of Asia , Africa,, or 
AmeidLca, should be imported into the re^jm intoJrfiland,_ or 
the islands of Jersey and Guernsey, except in vessels which 
were built, owned, and manned as above described; no goods 
of the growth or production of the aforementioned continents 
8hotLld~be imported unless they came direct from the coun- 
tries where they were produced or from the places whence 
they were usually shipped. In contrast with the ordinance 
of 1651, no special restriction was laid on trade with any of 
the states of the Continent of Europe except Russia and Tur- 
key.^ This act comprised all that was directly attempted by 
this famous group of statutes for the benefit of the shipping 
interest, but for its purposes the word ^^ English '' was so defined 
as to include the colonists and the Irish.^ 

For the benefit of the merchants, as distinguished from the 
ship-owners, the policy of the staple was applied on a large 
scale. It appears in the provision of the act of 1660 which 
relates to the commodities of the plantations which, because 
of their tropical or semi-tropical origin, could not be produced 
in England. Section 18 of the above act provided that no 
sugar, tobacco, cotton-wool, ginger, indigo, fustic or other 
dyeing wood, the growth or manufacture of any of the planta- 
tions, should be carried from thence to any place except the 
other plantations or the realm of England,^ under penalty of 
forfeiture. These were currently designated as the enu- 
merated commodities, and at a later time the list was con- 
siderably increased. With the exception of tobacco, all the 
commodities which were at first included in the list were 
products of the island colonies. During the seventeenth 
century and with the exception of tobacco, the continental 

1 See McGovney, in Am. Hist. Review, IX. 726. 

s 13 and 14 Car. IL c. 11, sect. 6. 

* By the act of 1660 Ireland was included with the realm in this provision. 
But by an act of 1670 (22 and 23 Car. IL c. 26, sect. 11) this was corrected, 
and the word ** Ireland " was ordered to be omitted from all bonds for the 
ahipment of enumerated commodities. 


colonies were not affected by the policy of the enumerated CHAl 
commodities. Subject to the customs and trade laws of ^ ^^ 
European nations and their colonies, they could send their 
products whither they would, provided they did it in ships 
legally owned and manned.^ 

^ The importance of the act of 1660 may justify special reference to what 
appears in the Journals of the Commons and Lords respecting its passage. 
Similar references could be given concerning the action that was taken on 
the later statutes. But it is all too brief, especially on matters which directly 
concern the colonies, to be specially informing. When the manuscripts of 
the two houses shall have been arranged and examined, petitions, reports, and 
other material may be found which will throw light on the discussion that 
preceded the passage of these acts. *' Ordered, that it be referred to a 
committee to consider of encouraging and regulating the manufacture, both 
of new and old Wool, and navigations in English Bottoms ; viz., unto Sir 
George Downing, Mr. Streete, Col. Birch, Sir Walter Earle, Mr. Knight, Sir 
Henage Finch, Sir Wm. Wheeler, Sir Tho. Clergis, Mr. Shaw, Mr. Middleton, 
CoL Jones, Sir Tho. Meeres, Mr. Jolliffe, Mr. Boscawen, Sir John Bowyer, 
Mr. Spry, Sir Tho. Bludworth, Sir John Robinson, Mr. Dennys, Mr. Delves, 
Sir Wm. Dayley, Sir Wm. Vincent, Sir Solomon Swale, Sir Edward 
Turner, Sir Tho. Rich, Sir John Frederick, Mr. Hall, Sir Wm. Morris, 
Mr. Allen, Mr. Yong, Mr. Chase, Mr. Henley, Sir John Lowther, Major 
Tolhurst, Sir Geo. Savile, Sir Anthony Ashley Cooper, Mr. CuUiford, Mr. 
Proby, Alderman Bumham, Mr. Deering, Mr. Ellison, Mr. Armstrong, Mr. 
Foly ; all the Merchants, and all that serve f or . . . Ports, have Voices. And 
are to meet To-morrow in the Afternoon, in the Exchequer Chamber, at Two 
of the Clock ; and so de die in diem ; with Power to send for Persones, 
Papers, and Witnesses, and what else may conduce to the Business : and the 
Petition for Colchester is referred to this Committee." July 27, 1060, C. J. 
VUL 104. On August 2 *' Mr. Thomas (and) Sir Anthony Irby " were added 
to the committee. 

The Journals of course reveal nothing of the doings of this committee 
and very little respecting the discussion of the bill in the house, if, in fact, 
there was any. Qn September 4 (ibid, 161), when the bill was read the 
third time, the former clause relating to enumerated commodities and to the 
bonds required in connection therewith was introduced. This would indicate 
that this feature was not contemplated by those who initiated the measure. 
After a few other verbal amendments the bill was passed, and Sir George 
Downing took it to the Lords. 

The Lords were requested to expedite the business and they did so. The bill 
was read on September 5. On the 7th a committee reported a few verbal 
amendments, but ** in regard this Bill is of so great Concernment to the 
Kingdom, the House thought fitter to pass by these Alterations, rather than 
to stay the passing of it at this time ; and to dispatch it as it came from the 
House of Commons.'^ Therefore it was immediately passed without change. 
L. J. XL 167, 168, 160. At the same time a joint petition of the houses on 
the efforts of the Dutch for some years i>ast by manipulation of their tariffs 
TOL. ni — p 


V _ ^ 


PART Two years later, by the statute of sXSfiSr^- it was provided 
that no commodity or manufacture of Europe should be 
imported into any of the plantations, unless it had been re- 
shipped in England, Wales, or Berwick on Tweed in ships 
legally built and manned; and such commodities must be 
carried directly to the plantations whither they were bound 
and not to any other place. Certain exceptions were made 
to its restrictive features. These were, that salt for the 
fisheries of Newfoundland and New England could be im- 
ported directly from ports in Europe; that wine could be 
imported directly from Madeira and the Azores; that provi- 
sions, servants, and horses could be imported from Scotland 
and Ireland. 

In order to secure the execution of the statute o f j.660, 
provision was made that ships sailing from the plantations 
should give bond, with one surety, to the officers of the 
customs of the port whence they sailed that, if they should 
load in the plantations any of the enumerated commodities, 
they would unload the same in the realm. The amount of 
the bond was JSIOOO, if the ship was less than one hundred 
tons burden; £2000, if of greater burden. In the absence of 
royal customs officers in the colonies, the duty of executing 
the act was devolved on the governors. They were required 
not to allow any of the commodities to be loaded until a 
similar bond had been signed. Twice yearly the governors 
were required to return to the chief officers of the cus- 
toms in London lists of the bonds which they had taken, 
and once yearly lists of the ships which had sailed from 
colonies with cargoes of enumerated commodities. These 
provisions were further elaborated in the statute of 1663, and 
a requirement was added to the effect that within twenty- 
four hours after his arrival in the colony, the importer should 
furnish the governor, or such officer as he might designate, a 
true invoice of his goods, with his own name, the name of the 

to injure the English woollen trade, was sent to the king, and he promised, 
through Clarendon, to bear this in mind when the time should come for the 
negotiation of another treaty with the Dutch. 

The summary manner in which this most important piece of legislation 
was passed reminds one forcibly of the passage of the stamp act in 1766. 

1 16 Car. U. c. 7. 


master of the vessel, its name and proof that it was built and chap. 


navigated according to law. The penalty for disobedience ^ 
was forfeiture of vessel and cargo. The governors were also 
required to take an oath to obey and execute the acts, 
under penalty of removal and the forfeiture of JBIOOO, 
one-half to go to the king and one-half to the informer. 
Customs officers in England were also forbidden under 
heavy penalties to allow any of the enumerated commodities 
to be shipped abroad without being loaded in some port of 
the realm. The statutes relating to the English customs 
also provided for the seizure of illegally imported or ex- 
ported goods. 

The passage of these acts, if they were to be enforced, 
necessitated increased attention to the registry of vessels as 
colonial or English built. The acts implied the immediate 
exclusion of all ships which were owned by foreigners from 
the colonial trade. Upon the governors also, in the chartered 
colonies as well as in the royal provinces, many additional 
duties must devolve. These were connected with the 
registry of vessels, the examination of invoices, the inspec- 
tion and granting of bonds, and the taking of general pre- 
cautions against illegal trade in all its possible forms. The 
activities of the governors as vice admirals were necessarily 
developed. They were naturally brought into closer rela- 
tions with the crown through new oaths and instructions for 
the enforcement of the acts of trade. The customs regula- 
tions might necessitate the creation of new offices and tri- 
bunals in the colonies. In time of war — and the commercial 
policy which we are discussing was destined to occasion wars 
— restrictions must become more severe; under letters of 
marque armed attack on the merchant ships of the enemy 
would be authorized; and the system of convoys, which for 
continental traffic had been in vogue certainly since the 
beginning of the century, must be applied to colonial trade, 
and that would lead to the vessels going and coming in fleets. 
By steps such as these the passage of the acts of trade was 
destined to affect the administrative relations between Eng- 
land and the colonies, resulting in their development and 
making them more systematic. 


But these changes came very gradually and never fully 
corresponded to what the needs of the situation demanded. 
During the early years of the Restoration a few references 
appear to an inadequate supply of ships for the transport of 
colonial goods.^ Owing to special causes, this was felt in 
New York after its conquest from the Dutch. Before that 
time and until the effects of the war of 1665-1667 began to 
be felt, the Dutch probably retained about their usual share 
in the trade of the continental colonies.^ In 1667, as a result 
of a petition of Governor Stuy vesant, by order in council, spe- 
cial permission was given for the Dutch to carry on trade with 
New York and the Delaware region, but to employ in this 
traffic no more than three ships. This was in the nature of 
a dispensation setting aside the law in a special case, a prac- 
tice which was not infrequently applied to the acts of trade as 
well as to other statutes. It was intended that the privilege 
should continue for seven years, but such an outcry was soon 
raised among the merchants that in November, 1668, it was 
withdrawn.^ The conquest of New Netherland furnishes one 
of the strongest proofs that the English were committing 
themselves in earnest to the trade policy which was outlined 
in the recent acts; while, conversely, the act of conquest itself 
contributed more powerfully than any of the other measures 
of the government toward the exclusion of foreigners from 
the trade of the northern colonies.* 

The acts and their enforcement also brought to the front 
the question of the relation of the Scotch to the trade of the 
colonies. Under the terms of the law they were wholly ex- 
cluded. But in the summer of 1661 deputies from the 
Scotch parliament petitioned that the act of navigation 
might be extended to Scotland, as otherwise its trade and 
shipping would be ruined. The equality of the kingdoms 
since 1603 was also urged as an argument. The commis- 

1 Colonial Papers, 1661-1668, 236, 816, 387, 838. 

^ Ibid, 106, August 26, 1662, consideration by the council for foreign 
plantations of a secret trade with the Dutch for colonial tobacco. See also 
ihid.y December 7, 1663. 

» N. Y. Col. Docs. IIL 164-167, 176-177 ; Colonial Papera under corre- 
sponding dates. « Colonial Papers, 1661-1668, 172, 174. 


sioners of the customs, however, reported strongly against CHAP, 
the petition, alleging that the Scotch would bring in foreign 
goods without paying alien duties, and they would then trade 
with the plantations to the infinite prejudice of his Majesty's 
duties and of the Englishmen who had property in America. 
^^ The plantations," said the commissioners, ^^ are his Majesty's 
Indies without charge to him raised and supported by Eng- 
lish subjects; they employ above two hundred sail of good 
ships every year, breed abundance of mariners, and begin to 
grow commodities of great value and esteem, and though 
some of them continue in tobacco, yet upon the return itt 
smells well and pays more custom to his Majesty than the 
East Indies four times over. The Scotch would by this lib- 
erty overthrow the essence of the Act of Navigation, and 
they must not be allowed to trade from port to port, for they 
are strangers and their bond is not sufficient security." It 
seems that on the presentation of the petition, the act, so far 
as it affected Scotland, had been temporarily suspended. 
But now a special committee of the council, consisting of the 
lord treasurer, the Earl of Lauderdale, and five others, was 
appointed to consider the whole question. They reported 
that the further suspension of the act, except by parliament, 
would be impossible, as forfeitures for its violation had been 
imposed by parliament and these could not be set aside; 
while by such a measure as the Scots desired the object of 
the act would be entirely defeated.^ 

To this subject no further reference appears until, in 1667 
and 1668, the inhabitants of Barbadoes repeatedly complained 
of the extent to which they suffered through exclusion from 
the Scotch trade. The supply of servants which they had 
formerly received from Scotland had been cut off and the 
loss of this they felt very keenly.^ The agitation on this 
subject in Barbadoes was continued for a decade or more, but 
apparently without result. It did not extend to any other 
colony among the islands or on the American continent. For 
other and special reasons, however, a few Scotch vessels were 
occasionally licensed to visit the plantations. Such licenses 

1 State Papers, Dom. 1661-1662, 74, 149 ; Colonial Papers, 1661-1668, 58. 
3 Jbid, 641-643. 


PART were granted in 1663 and 1664 on behalf of Captain John 
^^' ^ Browne, to whom a patent had been issued for refining sugar 
in Scotland; and again in 1669, at the instance of the Duke 
of York, to two vessels which were to carry Scotch settlers 
to his province and riemain there a time for trade.^ To the 
grant by the privy council of the last mentioned license the 
farmers of the customs made strenuous objection, but it was 
allowed to stand. 

When the war of 1665-1667 with the United Provinces 
began, some of the merchants petitioned that, as it would 
now be dangerous for English merchantmen to appear on 
the seas, the acts of trade should be suspended and foreign- 
ers be allowed temporarily to become England's carriers. 
But the farmers of the customs protested, on the ground 
that it would result in the French and others obtaining 
a too intimate knowledge of the trade and colonies of Eng- 
land, and that it would lay up English vessels and tend 
to attract their mariners into foreign service. The Dutch, 
they also said, would be quite as likely to seize goods if 
they were in neutral vessels, as they would if they were 
in those of England. Because of these very urgent reasons 
the proposition was dropped, but careful provision was later 
made by the government for convoys and that the Virginia 
and Maryland ships should sail in fleets for their common 
protection. In November, 1665, Secretary Arlington wrote 
on behalf of the king to Governor Berkeley that, as the 
previous summer serious losses had been suffered because 
on the homeward voyage the vessels had not kept together, 
he was to see to it that the next spring the Virginia 
and Maryland ships should sail in one fleet, leaving for 
England as soon after the first of April as the winds would 

Following earlier practice, and for the purpose of keeping 
the fleet in good order and standing together for defence. 
Governor Berkeley was also commanded to appoint one 
vessel in the fleet as admiral, another as vice admiral, and 
a third as rear admiral. The fleet should sail direct for 

1 IbicL 166, 268 ; Colonial Papen, 1660-1674, 13, 16 ; N. Y. Col. Docs. m. 
180, 181. 


Fayal,* where they could find advice or a convoy; if not, chap. 
they should wait eight days and then make for the " Sound- ^^-^ 
ings," where, if they met no English ships, they should 
touch at the first port that they could make in the west of 
England. On May 1, 1666, as thirty ships were ready — 
though among them none of the Londoners — Berkeley 
issued the license to sail for Cape Clear and wait there 
for a convoy. The admiral, vice admiral, and rear admiral 
were duly appointed. The following November the orders 
were renewed, this time for the Virginia ships to sail home- 
ward in three fleets; but the ocean was so infested by pirates 
and trade so interrupted by the great London fire that a 
temporary embargo became necessary both in England and 
Virginia. A guardship of forty-six guns had also been sent 
to James river as a protection for the merchant vessels. But 
it was out of repair and proved wholly inadequate. Early 
in June, 1667, a small Dutch squadron appeared, destroyed 
the guardship and five or six merchantmen and captured 
several others. Berkeley and his councillors tried to induce 
the captains and crews of the merchant vessels, which were 
lying in York river, to attack the enemy before they left the 
capes, but without result.^ 

At the beginning of the next war (January, 1673) the 
Duke of York, as lord high admiral, ordered a convoy of 
two armed vessels for the ships bound for Virginia. When 
the time came only one vessel, however, was available, and 
that was the king's hired ship under Captain Thomas Gard- 
ner. After Gardner had reached Virginia with the fleet, 
Berkeley ordered him to repair to Lynnhaven bay on the 
Chesapeake and there watch for the enemy. It was while 
Gardner was watching and the merchantmen were prepar- 
ing to sail that Evertsen and Binckes appeared with eight 
Dutch ships of war, and after some resistance sunk five of 
the English and captured eight. This event, as well as the 

^ The destination was later changed to Cape Clear on the coast of Ireland, 
and Berkeley was instructed to communicate this to the other colonies. 
These facts may be found in a Ms. volume of Ancient Records of Virginia, 
in the Library of Congress. A copy is in the Library of the Va. Hist. Soc. 

* See Colonial Papers, October 8, 1679. 


PART descent of 1667, were excellent reminders of the risk which 
y attended trade in time of war. They afforded proofs also 
of the need of stronger defences in Virginia and of adequate 
guardships and convoys. But the war passed without any 
material change, and during the fourteen years of peace 
which followed, affairs were allowed to drift in their ac- 
customed course. The system of convoys which was thus 
inaugurated for the tobacco colonies was later extended 
and became a permanent feature of their trade with Eng- 
land in time of peace as well as war. 

In the British commercial code, as thus far developed, 
no restriction had been laid upon intercolonial or coastwise 
trade. But it gradually became evident that violations 
of the principle of the staple might and did result from 
neglect in this direction. Enumerated commodities — es- 
pecially tobacco — were shipped from the places of produc- 
tion to other colonies where they were not raised, and where 
no precautions were taken to prevent illegal traffic in them, 
and thence they were sent direct to the continent of Europe. 
Trade of that nature also furnished ample occasion for the 
importation into the colonies of European goods which had 
not passed through English ports. Owing to complaints 
respecting this traffic, the act of 1673 ^ was passed by parlia- 
ment. It provided that, if oxij^ snips should come to the 
plantations and load with enumerated commodities and should 
not give the required bonds to land them within the realm, 
certain specific duties should be collected on the commodities 
by officers in the plantations. White sugar should pay 5b. 
per hundred-weight; brown and Muscovado sugar, Is. 6d. 
per hundred- weight; tobacco, Id. per pound; cotton, ^d. per 
pound; ginger. Is. per hundred-weight; logwood, £5 per 
hundred-weight; fustic, 6d. per hundred-weight. Author- 
ity to enforce the act was given to the commissioners of the 
customs in London, and they were authorized to appoint 
subordinates resident at the ports in the colonies where these 
duties were to be collected. As the act of 1673 provided 
for the levy of duties, while its predecessors required the 
granting of bonds and the examination of registry of vessels, 

1 26 Car. IL c 7. 


collectors of the customs with jurisdiction over all these CHAP, 
matters were soon appointed by the London commissioners ^ ^^ 
for Virginia, Maryland, the Carolinas, New York, and 
Massachusetts. The history of administration under the 
acts of trade during the next fifteen years can best be 
illustrated by reference to the more noteworthy experiences 
of some of these officials. 

If we are rightly informed, Edward Digges, the auditor of 
Virginia, was for a time the collector in that province. But 
his place was soon taken by Giles Bland, son of John Bland, 
the London merchant who had written the able memorial 
against the policy of the acts of trade. Giles Bland soon 
became involved in a violent personal quarrel with Thomas 
Ludwell, secretary, into which Governor Berkeley was also 
drawn. Bland was fined £500 by the council sitting as gen- 
eral court without a jury. An appeal was carried to Eng- 
land, where hearings were held; but before a decision was 
reached Bacon's rebellion occurred, in which Bland appeared 
on the side of the insurgents, and at its close paid the 
penalty on the scaffold of his opposition to the governor.^ 

But of immediate importance in this connection are the 
statements of Bland concerning customs administration in 
Virginia in 1675. In a letter to Berkeley, and in other 
letters to the authorities at home, he states at length that 
both Ludwell and the governor, acting as he supposed under 
the influence of parties who were immediately interested, 
were clearing vessels for other colonies loaded with tobacco 
which was subject to duty under the act of 1673. He also 
charges them with entering vessels from other colonies, from 
Ireland, from the continent of Europe, and from England via 
continental ports, without proper inspection or sight of 
their bonds. Seizures attempted by Bland and his deputies 
were ignored, and the collectors of the Virginia impost on 
tobacco were assuming to act as royal customs officers. Bland 
urged the governor to establish a custom house at James- 
town and turn over the business to the properly accredited 
officers. Whatever the possibilities of the case might have 

^ Egerton Mas., copies in Library of Congress ; Ck>lonia] Papers, 1669-1674, 
609, 624 ; ibid. 1675-1676, Addenda, 298, 379, 392. 


PART been, the quarrel between Bland and Ludwell, followed as 
^^' it was by the breach with the governor, defeated all chance 
for the time of establishing a royal customs service in Vir- 
ginia. After a violent outburst of anger, Berkeley sus- 
pended Bland from his office, telling him that, if he ventured 
to perform its duties longer, he would lay him by the heels.^ 
The appointment of Bland was evidently an unwise one, but 
his statements cannot be dismissed as a mere outburst of anger 
and prejudice. We know that Berkeley deplored the eflFect on 
Virginia of the acts of trade. Evidence, moreover, that he 
was conniving with merchants and others to defeat the objects 
of those acts would not be wholly inconsistent with his later 
attitude in other matters. If Bland's allegations were true, 
they indicate that the mere substitution of a royal executive 
for one selected by the colonists or by a proprietor would not, 
after all, prevent the colonists from pressing their own inter- 
ests. Such a result would be in harmony with what, under 
the circumstances, would naturally be supposed.' 

In 1675 attention was prominently drawn to the violations 
of the acts of trade by knowledge of what was occurring in 
New England. Enforcement of these laws had borne a part 
in the earlier correspondence between Massachusetts and the 
crown. But in May, 1675, the commissioners of the customs 
reported to the council for foreign plantations, and at the 
latter's request, ^ that, as they were informed, several ships 

^ Egerton Msb. 

3 The feeling of many in Virginia in reference to the act of 1673 is doubt- 
less well expressed in the statement of grievances from Cittenbome parish 
after Bacon's rebellion. Va. Mag. of Hist III. 38. See also Lower Norfolk 
Co. grievances, ibid. II. 170. ** Whereas theire is a penny impost upon all 
tobacco shipped into any of his majesties plantations, to ye Injury of this 
his countrey and almost ye mine of many of his majesties subjects in ye year 
74 : wee had perished but for ye New England supply of com and yt very 
bare by reason they could not have tobacco, it was several hundreds of 
I>ound8 damage to us. Besides other necessaries wee are at a cheaper rate 
supplied with from New England, which this debars.** The comment of the 
royal commissioners on this was (Winder Papers) that the complaint against 
the act was false; it was passed to keep the New Englanders from defrauding 
the king of his customs. 

< Colonial Papers, 1676, 231. This report was a result of the attention 
to New England affairs in general which was aroused by the agitation of 
Mason and Gorges. 


laden with commodities from the iContinent of Europe had CHAP. 


landed in New England contrary to law. Thus the staple y ' ^ 
right of England was being defeated. It was also possible 
that commodities were being sent from the colonies, either 
direct or through New England, to the Continent. But re- 
specting the extent to which this form of trade existed, the 
commissioners confessed that they had no definite informa- 
tion. They, however, suggested that the governors should 
be required to take the oath for executing the law, and be 
instructed to seize all vessels which were illegally importing 
European goods and to take bonds with securities that 
all enumerated comjnodities should be exported direct to 

The committee for trade and plantations presently in- 
stituted inquiry to ascertain whether all the governors had 
taken the oath and had made return to the officers in London 
of the bonds taken to insure the legal exportation of enu- 
merated commodites. But it took until October to procure, 
through the lord treasurer, from the commissioners of 
the customs, a report that they did not know what per- 
sons had been appointed to administer the oath to the gov- 
ernors, or what they had done. As to the return of bonds 
from the continental colonies, the officer in charge had not 
received any, or any lists of ships, except from Charles Cal- 
vert, who at the time was both governor and collector in 
Maryland : a few ^ during the years 1673 and 1674 from 
Virginia, and eight, taken during 1674, from Massachusetts. 
Respecting the oaths, inquiry was continued at the offices of 
the secretaries of state, but with what result we are not 

In January, J^IS^the English merchants began seriously 
to complain of the violation of the acts of trade in New 
England. They stated that the New Englanders — meaning 
especially the inhabitants of Massachusetts — traded directly 
with their own ships to most ports of Europe, and encour- 
aged Europeans to trade with them. By this means all 
sorts of merchandise were imported from Europe directly 
into New England and thence carried to all the other colo- 

1 Colonial Fapen, 1675-1676, 281, 235, 287, 297, 800. 


PART nies and sold at cheaper rates than any goods which could 
^^' J be sent direct from England. New England had therefore 
become a mart and staple for the colonies, and in con- 
sequence English trade and navigation were suffering. 
Twenty-eight signatures were attached to this petition, and 
we are informed that Robert Mason was concerned in its 
presentation. The extent to which its statements were true 
it is impossible exactly to state. That they were exagger- 
ated and too sweeping there is little reason to doubt. In 
this respect they were similar in tone to the other manifestoes 
against Massachusetts which Mason and Gorges inspired. 
But evidence comes from North Carolina a little later than 
this time, which tends to confirm a part of the allegations of 
the petitioners. The records of the so-called Culpepper's 
rebellion in that province abound in references to a round- 
about trade in which the inhabitants of North Carolina, of 
New England, and of Europe were together concerned. 
Many of the merchants also, as we shall see, gave testimony 
which closely agreed with the statements of the petition. 
The disposition of the New Englanders was in no respect 
averse to violations of the acts of trade, many indeed be- 
lieving that the colony was not bound by them without its 
own consent. It is evident that their professions of obedience 
were formal rather than real, and that they would persist- 
ently follow their own interests unless pressure were brought 
to bear to prevent their doing so. 

The petition^ of the merchants at once attracted official 
attention. It was handed over by the privy council to the 
lords of trade for investigation, by whom it was debated at 
length. It was seen that the ambiguity in the language of 
the act of 1673 might be responsible in part for the difficulty. 
The object of the law was to check intercolonial trade in 
enumerated commodities because that traffic facilitated 
smuggling. The imposition of specific duties was the method 
of regulation that was chosen. The intent of the legislators 
was to collect the duty from all who failed to give bond that 
their cargoes would be shipped direct for England ; and if 
such cargoes were found in any colonial ports with the duties 

1 Colonial Papers, 1676-1676, 337, 338. 


tmpaid, they were to be subject to seizure. This was in CHAP, 
the interest of fair traders, and they were rather more ^ ^^^ , 
likely to be British merchants than colonial. But the mer- 
chants, especially those trading to New England, interpreted 
the act to mean, that if they paid the duties and made the 
declaration that the goods were bound for some other plan- 
tation, they were thereby exempted from the obligation of 
giving bonds and might carry goods freely to Europe. In 
1676 the statute was referred to the attorney general, Sir 
William Jones, for interpretation. He declared that in case 
of ships which came from places other than England (mean- 
ing the English colonies) the duties must be paid and bond 
also given to carry goods either to England or to English 
plantations.^ This interpretation was confirmed by later in- 
structions, and was established by express provision in the 
act of 1696.* Under this definition the export duty appeared 
merely as an additional penalty, by the payment of which it 
became legally possible to carry enumerated commodities in 
colonial vessels to plantations other than those in which 
they were produced. As a matter of fact, however, when 
these goods reached the northern colonies, especially those 
of New England, they were likely to be shipped to the 
Continent of Europe or elsewhere outside the realm. ^ 

Shortly after the attorney general delivered his opinion a 
ship from New England, laden with tobacco which it was in- 
tended to land on the Continent, was discovered at the island 
of Jersey and its seizure was ordered. Early in AprU the 
petition of the merchants was again read, and those who had 
signed it were ordered to attend and make good their state- 
ments. But before further steps were taken, the council for 
trade and plantations was dissolved and the committee took 
its place.^ As this was accompanied with an increase of the 

1 Chalmers, Annals, 317-324 ; Colonial Papers, 1675-1676, 337--341. 

« 7 and 8 Wm. IIL c. 22. 

* A yery clear view of the working of this act may be obtained from an 
Additional Instruction for its enforcement in New England, which was given 
to Govemor Andros in October, 1686. Laws of New Hampshire, I. 169. In 
their efforts to interpret this act the older writers have fallen into the greatest 

« Colonial Papers, 1675-1676, 358, 860, 371, 374. 


PART number and dignity of the statesmen who were now to 
• J devote their attention directly to colonial affairs, the change 
was followed for a time by an increase of activity. 

A circular letter was now sent to the governors and pro- 
prietors, accompanied by heads of inquiry concerning the 
affairs and condition of their colonies. The attorney general 
was ordered to prepare a commission for administering the 
oaths required by the acts of trade. The mercers and silk 
weavers ^ of London added to the petitions of the merchants 
a statement that New England was supplying the other 
colonies with silks and cloths which they were bringing 
direct from France, Italy, and other parts beyond seas. The 
trade of English producers, they said, was thus being ruined. 
Brandy, sugar, oil, and other commodities were being im- 
ported through New England and distributed among the plan- 
tations in the same way. By this trade, according to their 
estimate, England was losing in customs duties £60,000 per 
annum. They prayed that the law might be enforced. 

On April 24 several merchants who trafficked with New 
England were called in one by one and questioned in refer- 
ence to irregularities in the trade of that section. They 
were asked whether ships had not gone from New England 
directly to France, Spain, Holland, Germany, Scotland, Ire- 
land, and other parts of Europe, carrying sugar, tobacco, 
logwood, wool, hides, and other commodities; also whether 
they had not returned direct to New England with cargoes 
of brandy, French and Spanish wines, hats, druggets, ribbons, 
linens, silks, ironware, and other manufactures. Some, when 
questioned, pleaded ignorance or avoided direct replies. 
"But* most declared plainly how all sorts of goods growing 
in other plantations were brought to New England on pay- 
ment of the duties payable by the Act for going from one 
plantation to another; that they went with these goods, and 
many times with ladings of Campeachy wood which they 
ventured to fetch from the places and to trade to all parts of 
Europe; that in exchange for those goods they laded what 

1 Ibid. 374-877. 

3 i&(d 377, 379. The quotation is in the language of the Calendar. 


each country did afiford." Even now, they said, two or three CHAP, 
vessels were loading in Holland. They sailed back to the * j 

plantations without touching in Old England, except when 
they saw fit. The result was that the commodities thus 
imported were sold in the plantations twenty per cent cheaper 
than the prices for which English merchants who traded 
under the act could afford to sell them. If this, they con- 
cluded, was not prevented, it " would quite destroy the trade 
of England there, and have no sort of dependency in that 
place from hence." 

This statement, though not based on official investigations, 
was impressive and quite in harmony with the preconceived 
ideas of the officials who listened to it. They at once 
resolved that a commission should be sent to all the colonial 
governors authorizing the administration to them of the 
oaths to enforce the acts of trade; that customs officers 
should be appointed in Massachusetts, and in case the colony 
refused to admit them, the other colonies should be forbidden 
to trade with them. How this measure was to be enforced 
was not stated. Finally, it was resolved that the captains 
of the royal frigates should be commanded to seize offenders 
against the acts. This is one of the earliest, but by no means 
the last, proposal that the navy should be employed to 
enforce the commercial code. The commission for adminis- 
tering the oaths was soon prepared, and probably sent to 
all the governors, but the appointment of a royal customs 
officer ^ to reside in Massachusetts was not yet seriously con- 
sidered by the privy council. Before that was resorted to, 
Randolph was sent on his first mission to New England. 
The statements, however, which were made by him, both 
before and after his return, were, as we shall see, quite in 
harmony with the testimony of the merchants. But before 
events proceeded further in New England, the Culpepper 
rebellion in North Carolina threw light on trade conditions 
along that coast. 

Thomas Miller was appointed, in 1676, royal collector 
of customs for North Carolina. He entered upon his duties 
in July, 1677. Timothy Biggs was controller, and Miller 

1 Ibid. 386, 390. 


PART had a deputy, named Hudson, who served in the lower 
precincts near the coast. Such was the extent of illegal 
trade that Miller and his deputy were able in a few months 
to seize 817 hogsheads of tobacco, and European goods to the 
value of £500 and more. Other royal dues, partly in the 
form of bonds forfeited for illegal trading, were also recovered 
by Miller. The fact that Miller thus disturbed long stand- 
ing trade relations with New England and Europe doubtless 
contributed strongly to provoke the outbreak in December, 
1677, which resulted in his imprisonment and the assump- 
tion t)f the office of collector by John Culpepper. The com- 
modities and money which had been seized were also taken 
by the insurgents. After more than a year Miller escaped 
and returned to England. There he found Culpepper and 
Zachary Gillam, a New England trader to the North Caro- 
lina coast. Both were arrested. The committee of trade 
and plantations summoned the Carolina proprietors, the 
various parties to the case, and certain merchants to a 
hearing in February, 1680. There the testimony was re- 
ceived concerning the rebellion in general and the seizure 
of the king's revenue and imprisonment of his collector in 
particular. Culpepper, who was present, asked that he 
might be tried in Carolina, but, if that were not possible, 
he freely acknowledged the truth of the charges against him 
and asked for pardon on his returning the property which 
had been seized. Gillam was later able to show that he had 
not been concerned in Miller's arrest, though he had sold fire- 
arms and probably other articles freely to both parties. 

The commissioners of the customs urged that Miller be 
restored to his place as collector and his losses made good, 
that full inquiry be made in the colony concerning illegal 
trade and arrears of customs, and that all who had seized the 
king's customs or interfered wrongfully with their collec- 
tion should be obliged to make the losses good. Finally, 
they would have all who were in authority in the province 
enjoined to assist in the execution of the laws of trade. 
So far as we know, however, no one of these things was 
done. Culpepper, for the part he had borne in the over- 
throw of the proprietor's government, was brought to trial 


before the King's Bench under the act 85 Henrj VIII. ch. 2, CHAP, 
which provided for the trial before that tribunal of cases of y _ * j 
high treason when the offence was committed outside the 
realm. As has been stated in another connection, by the 
interposition of the Earl of Shaftesbury and his assertion 
that North Carolina did not possess a regular government and 
hence that the accused could have been guilty only of riot, 
Culpepper was saved; and we are not able to state that Cul- 
pepper and his associates were compelled to make restitu- 
tion, or that Miller was restored to his office, or that^ a 
successor was appointed. 

In Maryland, soon after 1680, the officials of the royal 
customs came into conflict' with the proprietor and his 
officials. In that province the export duty of 2«. per 
hogshead on tobacco was collected by the officials of the 
proprietor, while the duties which accrued under the act of 
trade of 1678 were received by a collector and surveyor 
who were appointed by the king. The latter officials also ■ 
guarded the rights of the king under the laws of trade 
in general. Christopher Rousby and Nicholas Badcock were 
the royal officials, the former, who was the superior officer, 
having been recommended for the position some five years 
before by Charles Calvert himself. But, beginning in April, 
1681, Calvert wrote several letters to the Earl of Anglesey, 
the lord privy seal, in which he bitterly complained of 
the conduct of Rousby and demanded his removal. He 
called him knave and devil, and declared that his arbitrary 
conduct and the heavy fees which he exacted were driving 
traders from the province. He would show the proprietor 
neither his commission or instructions and would not allow 
merchants to submit to the governor the registers of their 

1 N. C. CoL Bees. L 244, 264-^833 ; Colonial Papers, June 10, 1679, Janu- 
ary 10, 1680, et 8eq. 

> Md. Arch., Proceedings of Council, 1667-1688, 274 et seq, ; Colonial 
Papers for 1681 ; especially December 15, 1681, and February 8, 1682. 
Rousby had been sheriff of Calvert county, had been employed in Indian 
affairs, and was active in many relations. In 1677 or 1678 high words are 
said to have been passed between Rousby and the proprietor, but of their 
precise occasion we are not informed. Md. Arch., Proceedings of Council, 
1671-1681, 22, 77, 143, 200, 227-231. 

VOL. Ill — Q 


PART vessels, lists of seamen, and bills of lading, all of which was 
V • y required by law. The charges, which were reiterated in 
violent language, implied that Rousby was habitually sacri- 
ficing the interests of both king and proprietor to his own 
profit. Vincent Lowe also charged Rousby with being an 
exclusionist, an opinion the truth of which is indicated by 
expressions in Rousby's letters which reveal his admii*ation 
for the Earl of Shaftesbury. 

Rousby soon returned to England, where in due time he 
was called to answer the charges set forth in the letters of 
Lord Baltimore. After he departed a dispute^ arose be- 
tween the proprietor and Badcock, the latter now being the 
sole customs official of the king in the province. Three ves- 
sels were about to sail from Maryland, at least two of which 
carried tobacco as a part of their cargo. The certificates, 
however, which they submitted, mentioned Ireland as well 
as the realm.^ Badcock, therefore, though doubtful at first, 
finally insisted that he should collect the duty of a penny a 
pound for which, in such cases, provision was made in the 
act of 1673. Lord Baltimore, however, erroneously claimed 
that the act by which the name Ireland had been excluded from 
the bonds had expired, and therefore that the duty should not 
be collected. High words passed, and the vessels were al- 
lowed to depart without paying the duty. Both parties sent 
complaints to England. Badcock claimed, though with evident 
exaggeration, that the king had been damaged to the extent 
of £2000 or £2500.^ This case came before the authorities 
in England in connection with the charges against Rousby. 
Rousby presented to the commissioners of the customs a 
denial* of all the important charges which Baltimore and 
his friends had lodged against him. He also advanced the 
theory in explanation of them that the proprietor desired to 
secure the two royal customs offices for his relatives and 
dependents. When the news arrived of the affair with 

> Ibid. 279, 358, 863-370. 

3 This was in violation of the act, 22 and 23 Car. II. c. 26 (1670). 

* Baltimore states in one of his letters that Rousby had repeatedly stated 
that he was not in the habit of collecting more than £100 a year under the 
act of 1673. * Ibid. 280, 292. 


Badcock, and especially the charge that in consequence of CHAP, 
it the king had lost so heavily, it told in favor of Ronsby. ^ ^^' 
The .proprietor, moreover, presented no testimony which 
was more definite than the statements contained in his 
letters. For this reason the committee of foreign planta- 
tions, after a hearing, reported that Rousby should be sent 
back to Maryland and there continued in the execution of 
his office. This was confirmed and a letter was sent to 
Baltimore, in which he was reproved for having wrongfully 
made such violent charges against the collector without 
having previously given him an opportunity to reply to 
them in Maryland.^ Baltimore was also censured for his con- 
duct toward Badcock, and ordered to make good to the 
crown the alleged loss of £2500. He was also told that his 
conduct might justly occasion the issue of a writ of quo 
warranto against his charter. 

When Rousby returned, the lord proprietor had himself 
gone to England and had left the government of the province 
in the hands of the council. At its head was Colonel George 
Talbot, a man of hot Irish blood and a papist, one who had 
been unpleasantly prominent in efforts to settle the extreme 
northern part of the province and to extend the sway of 
Lord Baltimore to Delaware Bay. Late in October, 1684, 
while the royal ketch Quaker was lying in Patuxent 
river, Talbot came on board. Rousby was already there, 
and the two took supper with the captain.^ Talbot, while 
maudlin drunk, provoked an altercation with Rousby. Be- 
fore it had proceeded far he drew a dagger and inflicted a 
mortal blow upon the king's collector. Talbot, though the 
murder was committed in Maryland waters, was at once de- 
tained as a prisoner on board the ketch and taken to Vir- 
ginia. Lord Howard of Effingham, in view of the fact that 
Rousby bore the king's commission and that he was murdered 
on a royal vessel, declined to surrender Talbot to the Mary- 
land authorities unless ordered to do so by the English 
government.' Talbot escaped, but soon gave himself up, and 

1 Ibid. 346. » Colonial Papers, November 26, 1684. 

< Md. Arch., ProceedingB of CouucU, 1667-1688, 453 ; Colonial Papers, 
1685-1688, 18. 


PART in April, 1685, was tried in Virginia and found guilty of 
^^' J murder.^ Through the influence of Lord Baltimore in Eng- 
land, however, a pardon for Talbot was obtained and he dis- 
appears from Maryland history. Nehemiah Blackiston was 
appointed as Rousby's successor.' 

The first period of Edward Randolph's residence in Massa- 
chusetts as collector, searcher, and surveyor of the customs 
was between December, 1679, and March, 1681. He was ap- 
pointed under a commission from the lord treasurer,^ and, 
like all the royal customs officers who served in the colo- 
nies, his salary was paid by the English government. He 
appointed deputies : one or more in Boston, probably one at 
Salem, and one, Captain Baref oote, at Piscataqua. Randolph's 
duties, like those of other customs officers, were to see that 
all vessels trading to the colony were manned and navigated 
according to law, that the bonds and certificates required by 
the acts of trade were given and exhibited on the departure 
and arrival of vessels, that enumerated commodities were 
shipped direct to the realm, that no European goods which 
had not been reshipped in England should be smuggled into 
the colony, and that the duties which accrued under the 
act of 1673 were paid. If possible, he must seize and secure 
before the courts the condemnation of all vessels which were 
found engaged in illegal trade. As illegal trade was closely 
connected with piracy and privateering, his duties extended 
also to some interference with these chronic evils. In his 
efforts to accomplish this task Randolph stood almost alone. 
His previous errand to Massachusetts had made him an ob- 
ject of suspicion and hate. His present errand increased 
that feeling. As in other colonies, no provision was made 
for a custom house, with its equipment of officials, or even 
for a public office where the king's business could be trans- 
acted. During the second visit of Randolph to the colony as 
collector, we learn that his office was kept in his own house.* 

1 Colonial Papers, ihid. 173, 188, 216. 

3 Md. Arch., Proceedings of Council, 1667-1688, 486, 484, 526. 

• Colonial Papers, 1677-1680, 263, 378. Toppan, Edward Randolph, IIL 42, 
47, 102. 

^ His wife and some other relatives then accompanied him. But during 
his two previous visits he was alone, and not unlikely occupied lodgings. 


For aid in the performance of his unwelcome duties he had CHAP. 


to depend wholly on residents of the colony, and their help ^ _ , 
would be given at considerable risk to their reputation, if 
not to their personal safety. If his deputies attempted 
seizures at night, they might offend against the police laws 
of the colony, while a seizure in the daytime would usually 
bring them into conflict with the hostile mob. All suits to 
which the king was a party must be tried in the courts of 
the colony, and before juries whose members shared fully 
the prejudices which were abroad in the community. Juries 
were sworn to obey the laws of the country. The influence 
of the clergy was cast wholly against him, and among the 
magistrates, Bradstreet, who was elected governor in 1679, 
was the only one to whom Randolph refers as inclined to see 
that justice was done him. The lords of trade were quite 
within the truth when they confessed that, under the con- 
ditions, little could be expected from the activities of one 

Randolph at once reported ^ that, notwithstanding the two 
laws which Massachusetts had passed for the enforcement 
of the acts of trade, no goods had been seized. No officers 
had been appointed, or other administrative machinery 
created, for the purpose. He found the opinion in every 
man's mouth, that Massachusetts was not subject to the laws 
of England until they were put into force by the colony 
itself. Before the courts of Massachusetts, as was declared 
by Danforth in the trial of the pink JExpectatian^ Randolph 
could act as an informer, but of course not as a prosecuting 
officer. Randolph could not be sure that the oath for the 
enforcement of the acts of trade had been administered to 
the governor. The Boston merchants put the colonial 
interpretation on the law of 1673, to the effect that, if the 
duty was paid on tobacco, the exporter might carry it to 
any foreign port he chose. In the absence of courts 
whose judges were of royal appointment, and in view of the 
fact that certain privateers had lately gone to the West 
Indies, whence they were expected to bring prizes, he urged 
that an admiralty court might be established. This was a 

1 Colonial Papers, 1681-1685, 103 ; Toppan, m. 67-67. 


PART demand which Randolph never ceased to urge, until, twenty 
' years later, he saw his desire accomplished throughout the 
colonies. Experience and personal ambition soon convinced 
him that he ought to be granted a commission under the 
great seal, and be given authority to build a custom house 
or office at Boston, where the masters of all vessels should 
be required to enter and clear and receive their despatches. 
He also desired that the customs officers, both in the colo- 
nies and at the English ports, should be instructed to de- 
tain vessels from Massachusetts which did not bring proof 
of having cleared with Randolph. The only assistance 
which he received from the officials of Massachusetts was 
an order from Governor Bradstreet to the marshals and 
constables of the three counties to give him their aid. 

During the first period of his official residence in the 
colony Randolph prosecuted nine complaints before the 
county courts for violation of the acts of trade. In all these 
cases except one the accused was cleared by the jury, and 
in that one, though the master of the vessel was fined £iO 
for opposing his Majesty's officer while in the discharge of 
his duty, the money was ordered into the treasury of the 
colony for its use.^ Since Randolph's complaints necessitated 
the holding of special sessions of court, he was forced in 
each case to pay JSIO to meet the extra expense which was 
thus occasioned. The king was thus forced to pay costs. 
The charges which Randolph made against the parties in 
question were for importing goods direct from the Continent 
of Europe or from Ireland, for unloading goods before entry, 
for attempting to land Virginia tobacco without entry and 
also to smuggle the same out of the colony. Thus the 
result of the first effort to enforce the acts of trade in 
Massachusetts was negative. Captain Walter Barefoote 
was appointed by Randolph his deputy on the Piscataqua. 
In the spring of 1680 a ketch belonging to Portsmouth and 
bound from Maryland to Ireland was seized by Randolph's 
order. But its master by action in a special court recovered 
damages against Randolph, and the latter for alleged hasty 
speaking on this occasion had to publicly apologize. Bare- 

1 Ibid. S4 ; Suffolk Court FUes, YoL 22. 


foote was also fined for his insolence and for presuming to CHAP, 
set up a customs office without the consent of the president 
and council. The conduct of Massachusetts was imitated in 
every point. ^ 

When Randolph returned to England, he secured opin- 
ions* from Attorney General Sawyer to the effect that cases 
such as those in which he had been concerned could not be 
appealed before the privy council, but that the king could 
not be forced to pay costs, and that if the proprietors recov- 
ered, as provided by the acts of trade, one-half should go to 
the king and one- half to the informer. Sawyer's opinion in 
reference to appeals was not accepted by the other crown 
officials, and, as we shall later see, the obligation to allow 
appeals, especially in cases relating to the king's revenue, 
was enforced. Randolph also assailed the right of Massachu- 
setts to levy taxes, and obtained from the same law officer 
the opinion that the colony did not possess the right to levy 
impositions on any but its own freemen. If this were true, 
it had no right to levy any import duties, or any direct 
taxes, on non-freemen. This opinion was in harmony with 
the law of municipal corporations, and the principle on 
which it was based was made use of in the case of the crown 
against the charter of the city of London. It was also to be 
used with telling effect in the case which was already being 
made up against the charter of Massachusetts. Those who 
were attempting to develop a corporation into a common- 
wealth were much more exposed to attack on technical 
grounds like this than were the inhabitants of a province, 
for a province was a public legal structure at the outset. 

When Randolph returned to New England he went as dep- 
uty of William Blathwayt, who had recently been appointed 
auditor general of all the royal revenue from the plantations 
except that which came from the customs.^ He also carried 
with him a commission as customs officer which had passed 
the great seal. A letter was sent to Massachusetts from the 
king, in which he expressed himself as very well satisfied 

1 N. H. State Fftpen, XIX, 662-665, 683, 686 ; Belknap, L 180. 

> Toppan, m. 99 ; Colonial Papeis, 1681-1685, 19. 

* An auditor of the king^s revenue in Yiiginia had been appointed in 1669. 


PART with Randolph, he having acted " with all fidelity and cir- 
^^' cumspection." The magistrates of the colony were there- 
fore ordered to support Randolph, to restore the money 
which he had been compelled to contribute toward costs (>f 
court, to account to the crown for one-half of the forfeitures 
which had been received, to permit appeals in cases relating 
to the revenue, and to faithfully execute the laws of trade. ^ 
When Randolph arrived again in Massachusetts, near the 
close of 1681, he found that a naval office had been created.' 
James Russell had been made naval officer at Boston and 
Benjamin Gerrish at Salem. Upon them had been bestowed 
full authority to grant entries and clearances to ships, and 
to receive bonds and certificates as was required by the acts 
of trade. The object of this measure was to make some 
definite provision for the execution of the laws, but to do 
it in such manner as to keep the business in the hands of 
colonial authorities. Provision was also made in the same 
act for the publication by beat of drum in the market place 
at Boston of the acts of trade of 1660 and 1663, but, whether 
from oversight or intention, no mention was made of the 
act of 1673. The law also required that caution money 
should be deposited by the royal collector in advance of all 
special sessions of court for the trial of revenue cases. This 
was wholly inconsistent with the command of the king's 
letter.^ Randolph at once found the naval office to be ati 
obstacle in the way of his ambition to transact all the king's 
business in his own office. Therefore he formally protested 
against the law. He claimed that it was repugnant to 
various clauses in the acts of trade and in his own instruc- 
tions, all of which required that the examination of bonds, 

1 Toppan, III. 112 ; Colonial Papers, 1681-1686, 129. 

« Toppan, III. 114 ; Mass. CoL Recs., V. 887. 

* The statement which the agents made in England concerning this matter 
was as follows : ** That for Ordinary Try alls in his Majesty ^s Stated Courts 
nothing had been demanded or taken of Mr. Randolph. But in Extraor- 
dinary Cases where Juryes were summoned at his Instance and Travaild for 
on purpose, Soe much hath been taken as to defray the charge of theire 
necessary Attendance, which will be prevented for the future and all cases 
reserved to the Ordinary Tearmes, if the Officer be directed thereto.** Top- 
pan, III. 19& 


certificates, and securities, and the granting of entries and chap. 


clearances, should be under the immediate charge of the 
governor and of the king's collector. 

Going back to the year 1646, when the first detailed act 
was passed by Massachusetts for the levy of customs duties, 
Randolph argued that the law which he was discussing 
simply provided for an old office with a new name. Richard 
Russell, the father of the naval officer, had for years been 
collector of colony customs, and had been succeeded by 
Captain Hull. Their functions, in Randolph's opinion, had 
been much the same as those of the naval officer. In his 
opinion, the new office was as much a part of the fiscal 
system of the colony as was its predecessor, and in this he 
was substantially correct. His practical conclusion was that 
under the revenue acts of the colony, even with a naval 
officer, it made no difference where vessels came from. " If 
I seize any ship," he wrote, " not legally qualified, her entry 
at this naval office is sufficient plea." Masters anchored 
below the castle, he further stated, until they disposed of 
prohibited goods, and then entered with the naval officer. 
At a date, probably in the spring of 1682, Randolph wrote that 
since his return he had seen only three original certificates 
and those the governor had retained in order that they might 
be shown him. As the law for the establishment of the naval 
office contained no specific provision empowering officers, in 
their search for smuggled goods, to break open warehouses 
or other suspected places, Randolph repeatedly found himself 
balked when he undertook to make searches and seizures. 

In any case Randolph was dependent on the will of colony 
officials when a warrant was to be issued which called for 
the assistance of a constable in an act of seizure. This he 
was not sure of obtaining. Randolph also had more than 
once to listen to insulting words concerning himself ; he was 
threatened with arrest, damages were assessed against him, 
he was resisted while attempting to make seizures, his dep- 
uty was actually put under arrest. The slightest possible 
recognition was given to his commission.^ In the cases 

1 Toppan, m. 121, 138-140, 143, 14»-153, 154, 163-176, 181, 182. 


PART which he brought to trial the collector fared no better than 


he did on his previous visit. " The Mope of Boston," says 
one entry, "seized for unlivering before entry. At the 
Tryall no witnesses were to prove the unlivery after Entry 
or that the Wines were Shipped at the Maderas as entered. 
Tet he [Randolph] was cast, [the defense] Insisting that 
he had no Warrant to seize the Ship. The Governor & 
Magistrate allowed his [Randolph's] Patent sufficient War- 
rant & sent out the Jury 3 times, but they would not alter 
the Verdict." When, in August, 1682, the agents stated in 
England, "There hath yet been noe forfeiture of Ship or 
Goods," they set forth with clearness and brevity the failure 
of Randolph's efforts. Randolph's own unsupported state- 
ment, that since his coming the customs receipts of Massa- 
chusetts had fallen off from JSIOOO to JS400 per annum, is 
not sufficient to counteract the weight of evidence contained 
in the simple fact that his attempted seizures had led to no 
forfeitures. ^ 

The arrival of Cranfield as governor of New Hampshire, 
in October, 1682, encouraged Randolph to believe that he 
might meet with better success on the Piscataqua. Cranfield 
had been commissioned as vice admiral, and this authority 
he later desired to have extended over the coast from the 
Kennebec river to Fairfield in Connecticut. Relying on the 
assistance of the royal governor, Randolph caused a warrant 
to be issued for the seizure of the ketch Q-eorge.^ This vessel, 
he found, had arrived in the Piscataqua two months before, 
but had produced no certificate to show that she was English 
built. She belonged to Scotch owners, and was manned and 
commanded by Scotchmen. Cranfield, in support of Ran- 
dolph's warrant, wrote to Stileman, the captain of the fort, 
not to allow the vessel to depart, and called a special court 
for her trial. But the vessel was allowed to drop down the 
river and escape. The jury brought in a verdict with costs 
against the king. Cranfield removed Stileman from com- 
mand at the fort and from the council, and wrote the gov- 
ernors of various islands in the West Indies to seize the 

1 Toppan, m. 166, 200. 

s lUd, 217, 267 ; Colonial Papers, 1681-1685, 862, 368. 


ketch, if she came thither. The affair simply revealed the CHAP, 
fact that Randolph could no more rely on juries and native ^ ^^ 
colonial officials to second his efforts among the settlements 
of northeastern New England, than he could in Massachu- 
setts. All that he could now do was to lodge an appeal be- 
fore the privy council against certain parties by whom he 
had been defeated before the courts of Massachusetts. When 
this had been done, events had reached the point in England 
where resort must be had to the qtu) warranto. Randolph 
was therefore resolved to cooperate in that, and efforts to 
enforce the acts of trade in Massachusetts under the charter 
of the company came to an end.^ 

It is true that we have only the statement of Randolph 
concerning the cases which were brought to trial, and that 
the papers relating to them which have been preserved are 
too few to enable one to form a judgment concerning 
the evidence which Randolph was able to present against the 
vessels which he libelled. But from a broad view of the 
situation, taken in connection with the statements of Ran- 
dolph as a whole, it seems clear that Massachusetts was 
nullifying the acts of trade. The process by which this is 
done has been made familiar at other times and places, and 
one recognizes its characteristics in the events and conditions 
which have just been described. The theory which was 
held by Massachusetts concerning its relations to English 
authority, whether that authority was expressed through 
ordinance or statute, was that of compact. It always had 
been such. It had always held that even the acts of parlia- 
ment which mentioned the dominions were not in force within 
the colony until they were in some way accepted by the govern- 
ment of the colony. In its declarations of independence from 
English law, it had excepted no statutes. It is true that 
it had now recognized the binding force of two of the acts of 
trade, but it insisted upon enforcing them, if at all, in its own 
way and by its own officials. The only competent witness 
whom we have says that they were very imperfectly enf orced^ 
if enforced at all. He cites many cases to confirm his state- 

1 Toppan, m. 204. 


PART ments, and repeats his testimony in communications to many 
• ^ different people and at different times, but always to the 
same general effect. The Massachusetts authorities knew 
that the testimony was being given and of what nature it 
was. They had agents in England, who might have disproved 
it there if it had been false. It might also have been disproved 
in the colony itself. But Massachusetts in this matter let 
her case go by default, and the student is compelled to admit 
in general, though perhaps not in all its details, the truth of 
Randolph's indictment. The course which Massachusetts 
pursued may have been in the interest of civilization, but 
loyal it was not. It pushed the claims of the local jurisdic- 
tion to such lengths as to amount to practical nullification. 

But about the time of the dissolution of the Massachu- 
setts company further steps were taken by the English gov- 
ernment toward the extension of its customs administration 
in the colonies. We are informed ^ that about the beginning 
of 1683 William Dyer, who had been collector of the customs 
in New York, was sent to the island colonies and to New 
England to inspect the customs offices, and that he resided 
for some time in Boston. But Dyer's appointment was tem- 
porary and of the details of his work apparently no informa- 
tion has been preserved. In 1685, however, the office of 
surveyor general of his Majesty's customs in the North 
American colonies was created and one Patrick Mein was 
appointed to the position.^ His commission had special ref- 
erence to the collection of the duties imposed on inter- 
colonial trade by the act of 1673, though his obligations also 
extended to the execution of all the acts. He was em- 
powered to visit and search any places where commodities 
subject to the duties imposed by the act of 1673 were likely 
to be found. In order to enable him to do this in Maryland, 
and to make the seizures which might be necessary, Mein 
was given a writ of assistance by Lord Baltimore's govern- 
ment. Instructions were at the same time sent to all the 
governors, in which the acts of trade as a whole were out- 

1 Toppan, IV. 5. 

s Md. Arch., Proceedings of Council, 1067-1688, 621-624. 


lined and their enforcement was required.^ The ketch CHAP. 
Deptford was also employed in the service off the Vir- ^^ 
ginia coast,^ and if a complaint made before the Maryland 
council was true, Captain Crofts, the commander of this 
vessel, proceeded with great arbitrariness toward mariners 
whom he found it possible to mulct. These measures agreed 
well with the policy of revoking charters and consolidating 
the colonies, to which the English government had already 
committed itself ; and in New England, if anywhere, the 
effects of that policy on trade relations might be expected to 

From 1682 until after the establishment of royal govern- 
ment under Andros, Randolph's energies were chiefly de- 
voted to the prosecution of the suit against the Massachu- 
setts charter and to the inauguration of the system which 
superseded it. His office of collector and surveyor was, 
however, retained, and after he ceased the active perform- 
ance of the duties of secretary and registrar under Andros, 
his duties as customs officer were again actively resumed. 
Boston, Salem, Ipswich, and Great island, at the mouth of 
the Piscataqua river, were declared by Dudley's council to 
be the ports of entry for the middle coast line of the enlarged 
province. Vessels trading to the eastward of Cape Porpoise 
were permitted to enter at Falmouth. Somewhat later 
Bristol, Newport, New London, New Haven, Milf ord, Fairfield, 
and Stamford were added to the list of the ports of entry. By 
prohibiting the unloading of any part of cargoes at the Isles of 
Shoals before the same had been entered with both the col- 
lector of the royal customs and the collector of the province 
duties at one of the specified ports, a blow was aimed at a 
probable centre of illegal trade. Customs officers were ap- 
pointed and stationed at the various ports. Coasting vessels 
were required to make due entries. A large committee of 
merchants and others, resident in the coast towns, was 
appointed by the council to consider the condition of trade 
and how it might be advanced and hindrances removed. 

1 Ibid. 446 ; N. T. Col. Docs. m. 882. 

• Md. Arch., Proceedings of Council, 1067-1688, 486-400, 523. 


PART The records afford evidence of occasional seizures, and we 
may believe that the existence of a royal government may 
have had some restraining infiuence on illegal trade.^ 

But Randolph's correspondence indicates that, as on pre- 
vious visits, he found his efforts as customs official opposed 
at nearly every step. Prejudices which had originated in 
the experiences of past years obstructed his path. He found 
that some of the members of the council were traders, or 
were related to those who were such, and they thwarted him 
when he insisted that the laws of trade should be strictly 
enforced. Richard Wharton, a councillor, openly declared 
that the king in appointing Randolph secretary intended to 
reduce the people to vassalage. Randolph caused five or six 
ships to be seized, but that again aroused popular opposition. 
He complains that Dudley refused to assist him. A rival 
for privileges in the matter of seizures appeared in the per- 
son of Captain George of the Rose frigate. While his ship 
was lying at anchor in the harbor of Boston, the captain was 
allowed to make seizures or to prosecute as an informer. 
This was an anticipation of a practice which appears with 
increasing frequency in the next century, that of the bestow- 
ment upon naval officers of the right of search and seizure 
to be used in the enforcement of the laws of trade. That 
authority, however, was regularly exercised only while the 
armed vessel was cruising off the coast. Randolph rightly 
complained because, in this case, it was employed almost at 
the wharf itself. The marines also interfered with Ran- 
dolph's deputies when they were performing their duties. 
When Randolph interposed or complained, he was berated 
by the captain. The council seems also to have had trouble, 
not only with Captain George, but with the captain of the 
frigate Dartmouth^ on account of disorders committed by 
their men while on shore in Boston.^ When summoned to 
appear before that body, they replied that, if the president 
had any orders for them in the king's service, they would 
obey him, " but as for the Councill, they had nothing to do 

1 Dudley Records, 2 Proc. Mass. Hist. Soc. XIIL 248, 262, 256, 264, 271, 
276, 278 ; Conn. Recs. III. 434. 

s Dudley Recs. 2 Proc. Mass. Hist Soc. xm. 270, 278-276. 


with them." Repeatedly and with the greatest formality CHAP, 
they were summoned before the council, but they failed to ^^' 
appear though a fine was levied on one of their seamen. 
Randolph states that he complained of the usage to which he 
had been subjected, but he found it impossible to secure 
redress. Captain George seemed to be usurping his func- 
tions and, what was an even more serious matter, was taking 
his fees.^ 

Occasionally, after the arrival of Andros, we hear of the 
seizure of vessels for violations of the acts of trade, while they 
were also liable to seizure for breach of the customs law of 
the province. So much irregular trading went on through 
Newfoundland, that Andros was ordered not to treat it as a 
plantation, but like Scotland or any foreign state, and not to 
permit the entry of European goods shipped at its ports.' 
As the province was enlarged so as to include the middle 
colonies, Randolph was brought into connection with Mat- 
thew Plowman of New York and possibly with other customs 
officers. Some correspondence ensued, but the connection 
was too brief to admit of any important results. However 
much Randolph might have complained of the indifference 
of Dudley and his council, when the government of Andros 
fell and he found himself a prisoner, he never tired of assert- 
ing that ^^ the bottom and ground of all their complaints " 
was the enforcement of the acts of trade.' This interpreta- 
tion of an issue which was far broader than his language 
indicated was characteristic of Randolph and of his tiresome 
insistence on his own deserts. 

The review which we have now presented of the commer- 
cial policy of England and of the efforts which were made to 
enforce it prior to 1690, fragmentary though it is, makes 
clear the fact that the feature of it which related to the 
staple was naturally viewed by the colonists as inconsistent 
with their interests. In the case of most of their imports 
and of an important part of their exports it imposed upon 
them, if executed, the necessity of making roundabout voyages 
and, in connection therewith, of paying customs duties in 

> Toppan, lY. 02, 98, 107, 114, 125, 128. 

• IWd. IV. li^ ie4, 108, 183, 261, 267, 260. • Ibid. 260. 


PART England. It also tended to restrict them, both in the case 
^^' of purchases and sales, to the English market. Owing to 
the location of the British isles, the burden of the round- 
about voyages was slight in the case of the northern colonies, 
though it was serious for those which lay to the south and 
particularly for the islands. The increase of cost which 
resulted from the restriction of their market and the pay- 
ment of duties was also felt by all, though not in the same 
degree. In general, and especially among certain classes 
and in certain sections, the opposition of interests which was 
occasioned by the adoption of this policy was too great to be 
overcome by the sentiment of loyalty as it then existed. 
The policy, therefore, had to be enforced by specific and 
rigid administrative measures.' It thus affords one of the 
best illustrations of the methods which had to be used in the 
administration of government from a remote centre and of 
the obstacles which it was necessary to overcome if the policy 
was ever to be made really effective. 

The English government in its efforts to enforce the trade 
policy instituted inquiries at home and inquiries through 
special agents who were sent to the colonies. It called in 
the authority of parliament to reenf orce that of the executive. 
It imposed additional duties upon the royal governors, and 
sought to bind these and the governors of the chartered 
colonies by special oaths and instructions. It appointed 
royal customs officials to reside in most of the colonies, and 
provided for their superintendence by a surveyor general of 
customs in America. The interests of the empire, as repre- 
sented in this policy, operated as a threat imperilling the 
existence of every chartered colony. In connection with its 
enforcement steps were taken to change the chartered colo- 
nies into royal provinces and to unite those provinces into 
ever larger unions. The colonists found themselves being 
enveloped in a rapidly extending network of imperial 

These measures were to an extent calculated to attain the 
objects intended. But they were at best legal and official, 
and were subject to the limitations which apply to measures 
of that kind. Like the system of religious tests, they rested 


for their effectiveness on compulsion. There was nothing in ^^^• 
them to elicit the spirit of loyalty, and much which was cal- 
culated to positively discourage it. It was always possible 
that the officials of the home government in England might 
neglect their duties and for various personal reasons permit 
the infraction of the law. The temptation to a similar 
course of action on the part of royal appointees who were 
resident in the colonies might be still greater — it was indeed 
likely to be so, if they identified themselves at all closely 
with the colonists. In the chartered colonies it was almost 
inevitable that the royal officials should come into conflict 
with the local authorities. Instances of the way in which this 
might come about have been given in the cases of North 
Carolina, Maryland, and Massachusetts. But the experience 
of Bland in Virginia, and not a few similar cases at later 
times, indicated that the creation of royal provinces and the 
appointment of royal officials by no means fully guarantied 
the execution of the laws or the establishment of harmonious 
relations. Even if the royal appointees were faithful and 
efficient — and many of them were not so — their efforts 
could only partially overcome the great natural and social 
obstacles which lay in the path of the enforcement of the 
acts of trade. The fact of the case was that the principle of 
mercantilism, as applied to the colonies, rested upon a tre- 
mendous assumption. The policy presupposed the existence 
of a high degree of both political and social unity as the con- 
dition of its success. In this case the two conditions were 
very imperfectly realized. The policy itself was therefore in 
the nature of an experiment and its history reveals a pro- 
longed and only partially successful struggle against heavy ' 

VOL. m — B 



To the student of the continental colonies Virginia after 
the Restoration presents the first genuine picture of the royal 
province, of its characteristics, and of the social and political 
conflicts which might develop in its midst. Virginia, in the 
earlier period of its history, had been proprietary; and after 
that had closed, for about fifteen years it existed under an 
ill-organized executive. Before that evil had been wholly 
removed, the outbreak of civil war in England interrupted 
normal relations with the mother country. The war in turn 
had been succeeded by the exceptional conditions of the 
Commonwealth and Protectorate. The return of the king 
was followed by the restoration of former relations be- 
tween Virginia and the home government, an incident of 
which was the creation of an executive within the province 
itself that was suited to its needs and which for that reason 
could become permanent. 

To Virginians, especially after the Restoration, the fact 
that they were immediately dependent on the crown was a 
source of pride. The term ^^ dominion," when applied to 
Virginia, carried with it a special and dignified meaning, 
which did not attach to it when it was used in reference to a 
chartered colony. Virginians had to do immediately with 
appointees of the crown, with privy councillors and other 
officers of state in England; not with proprietors and their 
appointees, or with the elected officials of a corporate colony. 
They could reflect with pride not only on the fact that theirs 
was the first colony to be permanently settled, but also that 
for so long a period they had been the only province, the only 
dominion in the higher and more dignified sense. This 
suited well with the natural pride of the cavalier and of the 
large landed proprietor, with his troops of dependents and 
his position as official and social leader in his locality. Vir- 



ginians, too, by trade connection and ties of relationship and CHAP, 
social intercourse, were drawn into closer union with England 
than was common among the colonies. English merchant 
yessels annually visited the harbor of Virginia in fleets; were 
ever bringing her immigrants and carrying passengers to 
and from the old world. Correspondence was active between 
merchants and planters and their agents on both sides of the 
ocean. This, added to the volume of official correspondence, 
kept England in closer touch with Virginia than with any 
other continental colony.^ 

The spirit of harmony and union which had this origin 
was strengthened by the loyalist temper of the province and 
by the fact that the only form of religion which existed 
within it was a somewhat narrow Anglicanism. To support 
and develop all this the form and spirit of the royal executive 
were well adapted. The officials who constituted it — Berke- 
ley, the governor, with his councillors, Thomas Ludwell, the 
secretary, Norwood, the treasurer, Moryson, the deputy 
- governor, and the rest — received their appointments from 
England and were led by interest, if not by natural inclina- 
tion, to support the government and its policy. Though for 
the most part Virginians, they formed the substratum and 
official framework on which rested the connection between 
England and the province. Their influence was decisive in 
filling most of the inferior offices of the colony; it became 
strong in determining the results of elections and the course 
of legislation. The governor and the group of councillors 
who habitually acted with him were able to control a voting 
majority among the burgesses. By family alliances and in 
other ways they became the social leaders of the province* 
In many of the counties they monopolized political power. 
In the vestries, which now came to fill their membership in 
many instances by cooptation, they exerted a very consider- 
,able .influence. As local militia colonels the social and 
political leadership of the councillors was still further 
enhanced. They had already secured exemption from tax- 
ation for themselves and families. The governor and coun- 

1 See, e.^., Hie Letton of William Fttshngh, Va. Mag. of Hiat I-IV. 


PART cillors, together with those whom they were able collectively 
' to influence, formed a political phalanx, held together by the 
spirit of loyalty and the advantages of office.^ 

It is thus apparent that conditions in Virginia were anal- 
ogous to those which were brought about in Maryland by 
the influence of the Calvert family. There was much that 
was autocratic in the power of the governor and council and 
exclusive in their views. Berkeley, who stood at their head, 
was the ideal and personification of their spirit. In Virginia 
he reflected the dress, bearing, language, views, and policy of 
the court of Charles II, especially of the Tory element which 
held chief sway in that court. To him Cromwell and the 
Commonwealth were the sum of all villanies, the union of 
church and crown which had now been restored the essence 
of all good. Religious dissent and political opposition 
could expect nothing but harsh treatment at his hands. 
Though brave and chivalrous, he was as bigoted as the 
narrowest among the Puritans. In reality the official 
Anglican oligarchy of Virginia were representatives of the 
same mental type as the Puritan oligarchy of Massachusetts, 
though the defence of the traditional system which had come 
down to them did not call forth the kind and degree of 
mental activity which distinguished the New England 

So far as one can discover, during the first ten years of his 
administration Berkeley was an efficient governor. With 
reasonable diligence he performed his duties botU toward the 
province and the king. We find him actively caring for its 
defence during the Dutch war. He devoted much attention 
to efforts which had as their object the raising of other staples 
than tobacco. Later some parties complained that too much 
had been spent in building storehouses for such products at 
Jamestown or elsewhere. So far as was ordinarily attainable 
in the colonies, the militia of Virginia during Berkeley's 
administration seemed efficient. Over the interests of the 
church and of morality no Anglican could watch more care- 
fully than Berkeley. Sessions of the assembly were regu- 

1 See VoL n. of thia work, p. 71. 


larly held; they passed quietly and their product in the form CHAP, 
of laws was regularly sent to England for approval. In 1670 ^ j 

the suffrage was restricted to freeholders, while, as in Eng- 
land, the assembly which had been elected under the strong 
royalist influence of 1661 was, by successive prorogations, 
continued in existence till 1676. By this means the bur- 
gesses, as far as possible, were kept in line with the aristo- 
cratic tendencies of the period. The home government was 
also kept informed of the doings of the provincial executive. 
Under Virginia conditions Berkeley was the counterpart of 
Nicolls and Andros in New York, the faithful servant of his 
masters in England. But he was more. So long did he 
reside in Virginia, that he became fully identified with its 
life. Very few, if any, of the royal governors became so 
perfectly representative of their provinces as did he. At the 
end he was more a Virginian than an Englishman. So well 
did he lead his subordinates, that, like Thomas Ludwell, they 
could hardly find words sufficiently expressive of their admi- 
ration for him.^ For a long period little or no evidence 
appears of factions within the council, or of conflicts there 
like those which later agitated the council of New York. 
Relations were also friendly on the part of both governor 
and council with the burgesses. The social and political 
machine, under the management of the governor and council- 
lors, moved smoothly and peacefully on its way. 

But, as time passed, faults in the mechanism began to ap- 
pear. As the governor grew old, he became irascible and 
avaricious. Not only did he draw his handsome salary and 
perquisites regularly but, as occasion offered, he added to 
his landed estate, while he also became deeply interested in 
the fur trade. That he cared much for the enforcement of 
the acts of trade is not probable, while it is possible that he 
profited by their neglect. Meantime, the councillors of his 
earlier days died or left the province, or for other reasons 
became unable to attend to their duties. Berkeley himself 
finally admitted that he was left with much fewer and younger 

^ See LudwelPs Description of Virginia, Va. Mag. of Hist. V. 54 ; also a 
memorial of the connoil to the king, Colonial Papers, October 11, 1673. 


PART men about him, feeling in time of crisis very much alone.^ 
^^' ^ Some said that he had neglected to nominate to the yacancies 
as they occurred, with the result that there was less oppor- 
tunity in his old age to counteract his caprice. Some began 
to use language about his conduct which was as severe as, in 
earlier years, it had been adulatory. 

By 1670 settlements had extended above the middle courses 
of the rivers. On the outskirts of the colony there was a 
genuine frontier population, while the inhabitants of the tide- 
water counties, no longer exposed to Indian attacks, lived in 
a somewhat matured society and in permanent relations 
with the outside world. Trade connections with the colonies 
to the north and south were established. In the lower counties 
lived the large planters and the great mass of indented ser- 
vants; there the colonial aristocracy was intrenched, the 
peninsula of Accomac, because of the broad bay that inter- 
vened, forming a district somewhat apart from the mainland. 
In spite of some expenditures in road building, means of 
communication overland were very poor, and the rivers were 
long destined to be the chief avenues of travel. Adminis- 
tratively and socially each county was to an extent a unit 
by itself, the obstacles to communication between localities 
being so great that the common life of the province was far 
from strong enough to overcome them all. Already condi- 
tions were beginning to appear which in the next century 
were to lead to marked differences between the upper and 
lower counties. Even now a shock suffered by the seaboard 
counties would not necessarily be much felt in the upper 
settlements; while, conversely, the effects of an Indian raid 
would not be distributed equally through the upper and 
the lower districts of the province. 

The same was true of social classes, between which the 
distinctions were relatively clear cut in the tobacco colonies. 
The large planters, the small planters and frontiersmen, and 
the indented servants, each had their distinct circle of inter- 
ests, and the issues which affected one did not necessarily 
signify much to the others. The Virginian democracy, which 

1 Winder Fapen, Va. State Library, Letter of Berkeley to Ladwell, April 
1, 1676. 


passed its sober existence beneath the aristocratic crust of CHAP, 
society, was much more intensely colonial than were the of- ^J^~^ 
ficials and great families with their European connections 
and ambitions. It was possible, on occasion, that the fron- 
tiersmen and small planters, assisted by servants, might rise 
and attempt to throw off the aristocratic incubus as too costly, 
even though such a course might involve treason to the 
mother country. And the indented servant — the vital 
problem of his cramped existence might be touched even by 
a movement like this. These suggestions indicate how far 
the society of Virginia — or of any other colony, for that 
matter — came from being perfectly mobile, and how difficult 
it IB, especially with the scanty information at our command, 
to estimate the impression made upon different localities and 
classes by any seemingly general movement. 

The freemen of Virginia, even though it was a province, 
had long enjoyed a considerable degree of self government. 
For a generation assemblies had met annually, and there was 
no subject of important concern to the province which had 
not been in part or wholly regulated by legislation. Not 
only did the grand assembly appropriate the revenue, and 
proclaim its exclusive right so to do ; but to an extent it 
regulated the granting of land, it established counties and 
defined the jurisdiction of courts, it created minor offices 
and specified their duties, it fixed the amounts of fees, reg- 
ulated trade and industry, the church, the militia, and re- 
lations with the Indians. The scope of legislation was 
broader in Virginia than in Maryland, and in amount it was 
more abundant. In the early days, moreover, the council 
had enjoyed unwonted power. Later also had come the 
more fully developed self government of the Interregnum. 
But, as has already been indicated, there was another side to 
the picture. The provisions for the auditing of accounts 
were imperfect, and the governor was able to prolong indefi- 
nitely the existence of an assembly. By his large appointing 
power he could control, not only the general officers of the 
province, but the sheriffs and justices of the counties. Offi- 
cial discretion was also large, while means of communication 
were poor and the instrumentalities for creating and enforcing 


PART public opinion were correspondingly imperfect. Political 
power might and did under these conditions accumulate 
in a few hands, and the possessors of it were known, in 
some cases, to violate the laws, to oppress those who happened 
to be at their mercy, and to use their power for their own 
advantage and enrichment. After this condition had con- 
tinued for years, the ruling oligarchy fell under the suspicion 
in many minds of being worse and more corrupt than it 
really was. Sweeping charges of public robbery and op- 
pression began to be made and believed. The assembly, 
through long compliance, seemed to have become a party to 
the evil and could no longer be viewed as the guardian of 
liberty or of honest government. The pay of the burgesses 
and their annual sessions then became to many an occasion 
of offence and persistent criticism. The small planter es- 
pecially lost faith in the ability or inclination of the assembly 
to see that the revenue which came from his hard earnings 
was honestly expended. By this process were hatched the 
seeds of revolt. 

But there were other and more specific causes which dis- 
turbed the equanimity of the province. Nothing contributed 
more directly to this than did the projects for granting 
Virginia wholly or in part to proprietors, which were in 
agitation for fifteen years or more after the return of Charles 
II. In these plans Lord John Berkeley was prominently 
interested, and for this reason the governor was able to ac- 
complish nothing in opposition to them. They were schemes 
of greedy courtiers, who sought by means of a grant secured 
through influence with the king to divert a part of Virginia 
revenue into their own possession. Like a number of other 
similar events during this period, these illustrated the care- 
less indifference with which Charles II would take steps that 
placed the most serious obstacles in the path of his ministers 
and tended to defeat the policy to which the government 
stood committed. 

In 1649, early in the exile of Prince Charles, he had issued 
a grant to a number of noblemen who had remained faithful 
to the royal cause till the last, among them being Henry, 
Earl of St Alban's, Lord Culpeper, and Sir John Berkeley, 


This covered the Northern neck of Virginia, — the region be- CHAP, 
tween the Rappahannock and Potomac rivers, the mountains, 
and Chesapeake bay — and included about one third of the 
province. In course of time some of the grantees died and 
others transferred their claims. After the Restoration both 
the old and the new proprietors were inclined to hold the 
king to the promise which he had made in the time of his 
adversity. They leased the territory to certain parties, who 
went to Virginia to secure their claim and begin settlement. 
Of the proceedings of the agents nothing is known, except 
that such obstacles were thrown in their way by the Vir- 
ginians that they could not accomplish their object. In 
1662 the king ordered the governor and council of the colony 
to assist them. In August, 1663, the command was repeated 
with some emphasis.^ But no result followed. 

In 1667, however, the project was revived in England. 
In June of that year Thomas Ludwell, secretary of Virginia, 
whose letters kept both Secretary Arlington and Lord John 
Berkeley well informed as to the state of affairs in the 
province, wrote to the latter urging that the king should 
not establish a company over the colony or place it under a 
proprietor, because both were very distasteful to the in- 
habitants. But before this letter reached England, at the 
request of the proprietors the attorney general was ordered 
to prepare a surrender of the original patent and a new grant 
of the same region to the Earl of St. Albans, Lord John 
Berkeley, Sir William Moreton, and John Tretheway. This 
was issued on May 8, 1669.^ 

By this patent the right was granted to lay out and enjoy 
hunting grounds, to sell or lease land and receive the rent 
therefor. The grantees were also empowered to divide the 
grant into counties, hundreds, parishes, and towns, to erect 
cities, churches, and colleges, to endow them with lands and 
goods, and to enjoy the rights of patronage over them. In 
the same way they might erect and enjoy the privileges of 
markets and fairs. They might also establish and hold 
manorial courts. It thus appears that powers of consider- 

1 Colonial Papers, 1661-1668, 116, 151. 

> Ihid. 476, 476 ; Colonial Papers, 1660-1674, 22. 


PART able importance were granted, which might result in the 
' development of local government. Under these the grantees 
would have been more than mere proprietors of the land; 
their powers would have exceeded those possessed by the 
proprietors of Maryland and New Jersey after they had lost 
their governmental authority. 

But the authority of the grantees was also subjected to 
important restrictions. They were required not to disturb 
grants which had been made by the governor and council 
previous to September 29, 1661, and to observe contracts 
which had been made in pursuance of such grants. Actual 
residents within the territory at the time when the patent 
was issued were not to be forced to do suit and service in any 
manorial court of the proprietors. The residents were also 
to enjoy all the privileges to which they were entitled under 
the government of Virginia, to have the right of appeal from 
the manorial courts to the general court of Virginia, and be 
subject to the military control of that colony. It was even 
declared that the laws of Virginia should be fully operative 
within the grant. From a comparison of the provisions in 
the entire document, it becomes apparent that in this case it 
was not the intention of the king to sepai'ate the Northern 
neck entirely from Virginia, as had been done when the grant 
of Maryland was made; but to create a subordinate fief or 
proprietorship within Virginia. Though the grantees would 
hold their land direct from the king, in matters of govern- 
ment the dealings of their colonists with the king would be 
through Virginia. In view of the relations which the 
patentees bore to the king, even this was fraught with great 
peril to Virginia, and might well arouse deep anxiety. It 
was, moreover, the evident intention of the king to give the 
patentees the support of his authority. Early in 1670, at 
their request, he wrote ^ to Governor Berkeley commanding 
him to assist them in settling the region, and to give them 
all due encouragement and protection. Berkeley replied in a 
letter to Arlington: "the Patent, being not two years old, 
and yet granting all the land taken up nine years before, 
doth extreamly trouble those who . • . took up land within 

1 Ibid, 63. 


that same time and now must have new ensurances. . . . chap. 
Besides there are many other grants in that patent incon- ^^^^* 
sistent with the settlednesse of this Government which hath 
no barr to its prosperitie but proprieties on both hands, and 
therefore is it mightily wounded in this last, nor have I ever 
observed anything so much move the peoples' grief e or pas- 
sion, or which doth more put a stop to theire industry than 
their uncertainty whether they should make a country for the 
king or other Proprietors." ^ But the representations made 
by the magistrates and friends of Virginia were successful. 
No serious attempt was made to found a settlement, and in a 
short time the patentees resigned their charter to the crown. 

But the slight hold which the desires of the Virginians 
had upon the mind of Charles II appears from his next act. 
In February, 1672, steps were taken to grant all Virginia for 
thirty-one years to Lords Arlington and Culpeper.^ They 
were to have all lands, receive all rents, and exercise all juris- 
dictions which had arisen or existed under any grant which 
had been previously made. They were to receive all arrears 
of rents and profits which had accrued since 1669. They 
might subdivide the territory for purposes of local govern- 
ment, erect churches and chapels and present thereto, appoint 
sheriffs, surveyors, and other local officers, erect manors and 
hold markets. In this docket no mention whatever was 
made of the government already existing in Virginia, or of 
the planters there and their vested rights. If there was 
danger that the officers of the former patentees might en- 
croach on the rights of the Virginians, that peril was now 

Opposition to the proposed new grant was at once begun. 
In 1674 the assembly voted to petition the king and to send 
agents to England to labor in the interests of the prov- 
ince.^ Virginia had already established the precedent of 

1 Winder Papers, June 26, 1671. 

s Col. Papers, 166&-1674, 834. The docket is here given. In Hening, IL 427, 
are the heads of what purports to be a demise or grant for years. They are 
in sabstanoe the same as the docket. They appear also in the Colonial Papers. 
See also Burk, History of Virginia, IL Appendix, 83. 

• Hening, IL 811. 


PART keeping an agent in England. Since the return of Governor 
Berkeley, Francis Moryson had acted in that capacity. 
Secretary Ludwell and Major General Robert Smith were 
now joined with him in the work.^ A poll tax of fifty 
pounds of tobacco was levied on the tithables of all the 
counties, and also a tax of the same rate on every person 
who was cast in a suit, to meet their expenses. The agents 
were successful in their efforts. Lords Arlington and 
Culpeper agreed to give up their claims to everything ex- 
cept the quit rents and escheats. In 1681 Arlington made 
over his claims to Culpeper, and later still Culpeper gave 
all the claims which he held under the grant to the king.^ 
In 1684 the king ordered Lord Howard of Effingham, who 
was then governor, to collect the quit rents in his Majesty's 
name, while a grant of £600 a year for twenty years was 
to be paid to Lord Culpeper, one-half of which was in com- 
pensation for his claims in Virginia.^ But though this 
satisfactory result was finally attained, much time passed 
in the interval, during which the fact that a tax had to be 
levied for such a purpose rankled in the minds of the 

After the grantees had yielded the main point, the agents 
tried to secure the colonists still further by urging the king 
to grant them a charter. They reminded him of the prece- 
dents for an act of this kind which had been set by the 
company in the early history of the province. The points 
respecting which the agents desired guaranties on behalf of 
the people of Virginia were these : that they might receive 
full power to extinguish the claims within the Northern 
neck of all parties except the province and its inhabitants ; 
that the province might not be " cantonized into parcels " 
by surreptitious grants; that all titles to private estates 
might be assured; that the governor and council might be 
residents of the province and have full judicial powers; 
that, in accordance with all past iisage, no tax or imposition 

1 See Hening, II. App. p. 618, for their appointment, and a brief calendar 
of the papers relating to their mission. Burk, in his Histoiy of Virginia, 
II. App. 33, gives most of the documents. 

3 Hening, II. 521. * * Colonial Papers, Jane 24, 1684. 


should be levied on the people of Virginia except by its chap. 
grand assembly.^ These proposals, after receiving the .^^™' 
approval of the law officers of the crown and the lords of 
trade, were embodied in an order of council that a charter 
should be drawn, October 19, 1675. But already the news 
had arrived of Bacon's rebellion in Virginia, and that 
brought proceedings of this nature to a standstill. In 
September, 1676, almost a year later, the king ordered to be 
passed under the great seal a bill to serve as a charter, but 
it was brief and non-committal.^ It amounted simply to 
a confirmation of tenure of lands, of the high judicial pow- 
ers already exercised by the governor and council, and of 
dependence on the crown. The contrast between the spirit 
and work of Moryson and his colleagues and that of the 
agents whom Massachusetts was sending to England is 
great. The former were received with confidence, they 
plead for objects which were possible, and they secured 
a hearing. Had it not been for untoward events in the 
province, they would have won a triumph. Their work 
iUustrates the operation of an agency under normal re- 
lations; that of the Massachusetts agents, because of dis- 
trust on both sides, ended in failure. The experience of 
the agents from Virginia had already proven the usefulness 
of the colonial agency as an institution, and as colonial 
administration became systematized it was more fully devel- 
oped and utilized. Though their effort to procure a charter 
failed, they helped to save the territorial integrity of Vir- 
ginia, and it was never again imperilled. 

1 Hening, II. 323-827 ; Burk, II. App. 56 ; Colonial Papers, 1676-1676, 
248, 298. Among the Winder Papers are certain undated observations on 
the heads of this proposed charter, which doubtless emanated from an Eng- 
lish lawyer. He objected to even the temporary incorporation of Virginia, 
becaose it would incline the people there to imitate New England ; a body of 
feoffees, he said, could be established by act of assembly and empowered to 
buy up the quit rents and escheats which had been granted to the proprietors 
of the Northern neck. Though opposed to cutting provinces up into smaU 
proprieties, the writer thought it would be a bad precedent for the king to 
deprive himself of this power. If a salary from the province was to be 
settled on the governor, it must be done now, **for hereafter,** he said, 
** you will have concessions but not sacrifice.** 

* Colonial Papers, 1676-1676, 447. Printed in Bark, H App. 61. 


Another subject which occasioned much anxiety in Vir- 
ginia during the period of the Restoration was that of coast 
defence. It was closely connected with the interests of trade, 
as well as with the internal peace and prosperity of the 
province. Adequate provision for this need was made 
especially difficult by the number and breadth of the rivers, 
and by the accessibility of the bay as well. The very con- 
tour of the coast, though it was favorable for traffic, exposed 
the province also to the descents of an enemy. The entrance 
to the James river is a broad estuary, which the small 
ordnance then available in the colonies — or elsewhere in 
fact — was quite too weak to protect. Material for building 
forts of any strength was not available near its mouth, and 
could be transported thither only with considerable expense. 
Proper site also for a fort there was none. Of these facts 
the officials of the colony had long been aware, though from 
an early time efforts had been made to keep up a small fort 
at Point Comfort. In 1630 Captain Samuel Mathews 
undertook the building of a fort there, and a committee was 
appointed by the assembly, to view the ground. Ten years 
later the structure had to be rebuilt.^ Governor Berkeley 
reported, years after, that, when he came into the country, 
he found "one only ruinated fort, with eight great guns, 
most unserviceable, and all dismounted but four, situated in 
a most unhealthy place, and where, if our enemy knew the 
soundings, he could keep out of the danger of the best guns 
in Europe."^ 

When the Dutch war began, in 1665, royal orders were 
sent to Virginia to provide for defence, and the assembly 
authorized the building of a fort, appropriating 80,000 
pounds of tobacco for the purpose and empowering the 
governor to select a site. Jamestown was chosen and a fort 
was there begun, on which it was intended to mount the 
fourteen guns which were then in the province. There, it 
was said, sufficient men could be procured for a garrison, 
ships could lie safely under its protection, and timely warn- 
ing could be g^ven of the approach of an enemy. But the 
merchants from Bristol procured from the king an order 

1 Hening, L 160, 226 « Ibid. IL 613. 


that Point Comfort should be fortified. Thirty small can- CHAP, 
non were sent over, but most of these were lost in the ship 
that brought them ; and beyond that no assistance was given 
by the home government. "But the reversing our first 
Councills," wrote Secretary Ludwell, "and rendering our 
preparations and first Charges for a ffort at James Towne 
uselesse by his Majesties second Commands doth very much 
trouble ye minds of ye people because they find their hopes 
of a ffort at James Towne frustrated and much of their 
money paid in vaine, a thing they seldom parte with will- 
ingly, how just or necessary soever ye occasion bee." So 
utterly defenceless was the province that every Dutch pri- 
vateer which arrived threw the people into an agony of fear. 
Ludwell therefore begged that one or two frigates might be 
stationed there, and that, in deciding upon such matters of 
policy as the locating of forts, greater weight might be given 
in England to the opinions of the colonial authorities.^ 

But the Virginia government continued its efforts to obey 
the king's commands. " Wee have ordred," wrote Ludwell 
to Clarendon in February, 1667,^ "a fleet, of boates and 
shallops mannd and armed to be reddy in every river of this 
colony to oppose such attempts when they shal bee made ; 
but for the fort att the mouth of James River, wee having 
struggled with many difficulties, looseing several men & 
much materialls by stormes which broke our rafts in floting 
the timber to the place, which admitts of noe other way of 
fortifycation, being a loose sandy foundation. Wee are all- 
most in despair of perfecting it in that place, which would 
have been done with more ease att James towne and more 
effectuall. Wee have been allreddy att seaventy thousand 
pounds of tobacco charge to effect it at Poynt Comfort, and 
much of it yett undone." 

When, therefore, the Dutch first appeared in force, in 
1667, the merchant vessels which were anchored in the river 
fell an easy prey. The losses then suffered kept many of 

1 Ludwell to Clarendon, July 18, 1666 ; Colls. N. Y. Hist Soc. Fund 
Series, 1869, 122 ; Ludwell to Arlington, Sept. 17, 1666, Winder Papers, Va. 
State Library ; Hening, U. 220. 

s ColL N. T. Hist. Soc. Fund Series, 1869, 160. 


the merchants away the following winter. This reduced 
the demand for tobacco and confirmed the colonies in the 
policy of cessation from planting of that staple which they 
had already adopted for 1667. But this was a radical meas- 
ure, which showed that the industrial system of the provinces 
concerned was in an unnatural state. A spirit of uncertainty, 
with accompanying losses, prevailed, the effects of which 
were not soon to be forgotten.^ The controversy over the 
question of locating a fort at Point Comfort was revived, 
the governor. Secretary Ludwell, and the members of the 
council reiterating their belief that such a course would be 
futile, and the merchants, especially those from Bristol, in- 
sisting that the mouth of the river should be the site of the 
chief fort. That the judgment of the Virginia officials was 
correct is now evident; and it was in agreement with the 
experience of the Dutch at Manhattan' and of others at 
similar points on the coast. The assembly was aroused to 
pass, in September, 1667, a comprehensive act for the build- 
ing of one fort on each of the rivers of the province, the 
Nansemond, the James, the York, the Rappahannock, and 
the Potomac, the one on the James to be located at James- 
town,^ though the localities chosen on the other rivers were 
much nearer their mouths. In the preamble of this act the 
assembly added its testimony to the expressions of opinion 
which had already come from the officials of the province, 
that " to build a fort at Point Comfort would produce little 
to the ends proposed, because seated in a place where is al- 
most an equal difficulty of procuring materials to erect it 
and of men to guard it and defend it when built, besides a 
ship or ships coming in with a ffaire wind and tide . . ., 
with the hazard of one or two shotts have as much liberty 
to prey upon ships or country as if there was noe fort 
there, ..." The cost of building the five forts was im- 
posed on the counties which were located in their neighbor- 
hood. When, in 1670, Berkeley made his report to the king, 
these forts were still in existence, but, said the governor, 
"God knows we have neither skill or ability to make or 

1 Winder Papers, already cited. Also Va. Mag. of Hist. IV. 280-246. 
3 See Vol n. of this work, p. 891. • Hening, U. 255. 


maintain them ; for there is not, nor, as far as my enquiry CHAP, 
can reach, ever was one ingenier in the country, so that we ^^^ 
are at continual charge to repair unskilful and inartificial 
building of that nature. There is not above thirty great 
and serviceable guns ; this we yearly supply with powder 
and shot as far as our utmost abilities will permit us." The 
merchants contributed nothing toward defence except the 
payment of port duties, which in 1667 amounted to about 
X300 ^ per year — altogether inadequate to the maintenance 
of the forts. The cost fell chiefly on the province, and still 
the result, as shown by the second disaster in 1672, was 
without practical value. The governor and council then 
wrote that the cost of such a fort as would even approxi- 
mately serve the purpose at Point Comfort would be 
X 15,000 sterling. It must be furnished with forty or fifty 
demi-cannon or culverin. But the revenue of Virginia, 
they continued, amounted to only £2200 sterling per year, 
of which the governor received £1200, the councillors X200 
and the rest was expended for necessary purposes. The 
existing port duties were not sufiGcient to pay the gunner, 
furnish powder, and keep up repairs. The province could 
not bear the cost, and even if the king should build it, they 
could not support the garrison without levying duties on 
those who traded to and from Virginia to pay it. Still, 
however, the merchants kept up the clamor for a fort at Point 
Comfort ; and in 1673 soundings were made there by a joint 
committee consisting of captains and of one man from the 
province, the former apparently hoping to show that the 
channel at the Point was so shallow that men of war could 
not approach near enough to harm vessels which lay near 
the shore. But the inquiry did not convince the provincial 
authorities, for, at the same time the contractors for repair- 
ing and extending the fort at Jamestown were being ordered 
to proceed with their work.* It thus appears that the Vir- 
ginia government was ineffectually trying, as other colonial 
governments were doing, to provide for river and harbor 

1 Winder Papers. 

3 Copies of Ancient Records, Ya. Hist Soc. One of the contractors was 
apparently William Drummond. 

VOL. Ill — 8 


PART defence. Revenue was being spent, but no desirable result 
^^' , followed. Under the conditions and with the methods 
which then existed, the problem was insoluble. The issue, 
however, was one well fitted to be raised when the general 
policy of the Berkeley regime was assailed, and the question, 
what was being done with the public funds, came to be 
urged with emphasis.^ 

As early as 1674 the upper counties began to show restive- 
ness on this and other subjects. A reference to an attempted 
uprising there in that year has been preserved, but of its 
details ^ we know nothing. We only know that complaint was 
made of the justices' levies, of the large grants made to the 
governor and council, and of the cost occasioned by sessions 
of the assemblies. A proclamation from the governor, sup- 
ported by the influence of " some discreet persons," proved 
sufficient to quiet the disturbance at that time. In April, 
1676, Berkeley wrote to Ludwell that the previous year 
he had quieted two mutinies which had been raised by 
^* some secret villains," who had reported that nothing was 
intended by the X50 levy but the enriching of some few 
people. Though it had since been paid without protest, he 
feared the effect of any increased taxation.^ 

But the social and political conditions in Virginia would 
probably not of themselves have caused the insurrection of 
1676. The spark was ignited by an Indian war, and by the 
suffering among the frontier settlements which it occasioned. 
The policy of Virginia toward the Indians did not materially 
differ from that which was followed by the other colonies. 
After the plans which both company and planters had held 
concerning the possibility of civilizing the natives had been 
shattered by the massacre of 1622, severe and prohibitive 
measures concerning trade and intercourse with them were 
adopted. Though these were at times relaxed, the people 

^ The echoes of this controveTsy appear in the grievances of many of the 
counties after Bacon's rebellion, they assailing the government becaose so 
much revenue had been expended on the forts without any result becoming 

> Winder Papers ; an account of the state of Virginia, which was received 
in England in June, 1676. It does not appear in the calendar. 

• Ibid. 


of Virginia never returned to the free and unregulated inter- CHAP, 
course with the Indians which had existed in the earlier , 
days. Only a few references appear during the remainder 
of the century to the desirability or possibility of attempting 
to civilize the natives. 

At times, when the Indians were restive and wars seemed 
approaching, trade with them was partially or wholly sus- 
pended. This was done in 1624, 1632, and 1643. In 1624 
all houses were ordered to be palisaded as a means of defence 
against them, and the colonists were commanded to carry 
arms with them as they went into the fields to work.^ This 
provision was also embodied in a law of 1632, while at that 
date the settlers, except on the Eastern Shore, were forbidden 
to parley with the Indians.^ In all parts of the province they 
were forbidden to enter the villages of the Indians. By acts 
passed between 1655 and 1665 the entertaining of Indians 
without license of justices of the county court was forbidden.^ 
They were not to come within fenced plantations without a 
ticket or badge. The customary prohibition of the sale of 
arms and ammunition to them appear until 1659. Then it 
was enacted that, inasmuch as the neighboring colonies, both 
English and Dutch, supplied them freely and by this means 
drew away the beaver trade, Virginians should be permitted 
to trade freely with the natives in arms, powder, and shot. 
Not until the beginning of the Indian war in 1676 was the 
former prohibition renewed. Although in 1662 the system 
of regulating the Indian trade by licenses granted-^ by the 
governor was permanently established, it is not probable 
that traffic in arms was stopped. Berkeley became deeply 
interested in the Indian trade, and it cannot be doubted 
that licenses were liberally granted whenever they seemed 
likely to result in gain to* the governor and his official 

In Virginia, as elsewhere, legislation concerning the Ind- 
ians after about the middle of the century became more 
comprehensive, and features of the protectorate appear. In 

1 Hening, 1. 127. • lUd, 410, 415, 441, 471, 526 ; H, 142, 219. 

s Ihid. 167, 178, 192, 198. « Ibid, IL 20, 140, 836. 


FART Virginia this tendency appeared after the war of 1644 and 
the death of Opechancanough. In 1646 a treaty was made 
with Necotowance,^ his successor, in which the natives 
agreed to withdraw entirely from the land between the 
York and James rivers, the Falls, and Kicoughtan, and 
settle north of the York river; they also acknowledged the 
supremacy of the king of England and promised him tribute; 
the bounds of the Indians' hunting grounds were specified, 
and intercourse between them and the English was carefully 
regulated. In 1653 the assembly provided for the assign- 
ment by the local authorities on York river and in Glouces- 
ter and Lancaster counties of land for permanent occupation 
by certain Indians. By an act of 1656 ^ it was declared that 
the Indians should not alienate any of the lands which they 
possessed under orders of the assembly. In future such 
bargains and sales, to be valid, must have the assent of the 
assembly. By another act, passed later in the same year,^ 
the English undertook to investigate and settle disputes be- 
tween Indians and the whites, and to mete out the penalty 
which the former should suffer for trespass and other more 
serious offences. In 1658 the Indians resident within the 
province were by law permitted to retain the lands on which 
they were seated, in the proportion of fifty acres for each 
warrior, and the land belonging to each Indian town was to 
be surveyed and laid out for them, with liberty of waste 
and unfenced land for hunting.^ Those who in the future 
needed to remove to vacant lands, should be assisted in doing 
so. No one should settle on land claimed by them, with- 
out permission from the governor and council or justices of 
the peace. Indians, on the other hand, should not sell those 
lands except in the quarter courts. Within the next two or 
three years the principle of this law was applied in Accomac 
and in a number of the counties on the west side ^ of the bay. 
But owing to failures in administration, to violent and fraudu- 
lent intrusion of whites upon the lands of the Indians, and 

1 Hening, I. 323. 

2 Ibid. I. 380, 382, 3W ; Va. Mag. of Hist. Vni. 173 ; W. & M. CoU. 
Quarterly, IV. 178. « Hening, I. 416. 

* Ibid. 457, 467. « Ibid. U. 13, 14, 34-39. 


to reprisals, it became necessary in 1662 to reaffirm the prin- CHAP, 
ciples of the law, and to give the governor authority to ^™- 
appoint commissioners to annually view and fix the bounda- 
ries of Indian lands. Purchase and sale of their lands ^ was 
forbidden. Shortly after the legislature went so far as to 
forbid the tribes of the province to select their chiefs and to 
provide that they should be appointed by the governor. If 
the natives should refuse to acknowledge such appointees, 
they should be proceeded against as rebels. It thus appears 
that Virginia by 1675 had committed herself to the policy 
of forming Indian reservations, and that the government had 
assumed the right to thoroughly regulate the relations be- 
tween natives and the whites throughout the settled parts 
of the province. Had the Indians of Virginia been left 
undisturbed by outsiders, the statement made by Governor 
Berkeley in 1671, "The Indians, our neighbours, are ab- 
solutely subjected, so that there is no fear of them," might 
have proved true.* 

The long period of peace between the Indians of Virginia 
and the whites was broken in the summer of 1675 by the 
murder of one of the settlers of Stafford county * by a band 
of the Algonkin tribe of Indians known as Doegs, who lived 
partly or wholly in Maryland. The militia of the county 
was at once called out under Colonel Mason and Captain 
Brent, and the Indians were pursued with some slaughter 
up the river and into Maryland. There a few Susquehannas, 
who as a tribe by pressure from the Iroquois were being 
forced southward toward the Potomac, were slain. Out- 
rages by the Indians then followed on both sides of the river, 
in the course of which some of the Susquehannas took pos- 
session of an old fort in Maryland near the frontier. This 
led, in the autumn of 1675, to a joint expedition from Mary- 
land and Virginia, the troops of the former under Major 

1 Hening, H. 138, 219. 

3 Neill, Virginia Carolorom, 332. 

« W. and M. Coll. Quarterly, IL 38 ; IV. 86 ; Narrative of Bacon's 
Rebellion, being the report of the Royal CommisBioners of 1677, in Va. 
Mag. of Hist IV. 117 ; The Beginning, Progress, and Conclusion of Bacon's 
Rebellion in Virginia, by T. M., in Force, Tracts I. 


PART Thomas Truman^ and those of the latter under Colonel 
John Washington. They besieged the fort. At the begin- 
ning of the siege or perhaps even before, five Susquehanna 
chiefs came out of the fort to parley, and, when they were 
charged with having been concerned in the recent outrages, 
denied it all, and said the mischief had been done by the 
Senecas. After the improbability of this, as it was claimed, 
had been shown to them, they were taken away by the 
Maryland commander and put to death. For this gross 
violation of good faith he was later impeached by the Mary- 
land assembly, but escaped with a light punishment. 

The slaughter of the Susquehanna chiefs was soon followed 
by a war of revenge in which the injured tribe and its allies, 
early in January 1676, carried destruction through the 
settlements of the Northern neck. The aged governor, with 
the advice of the council, ordered out a competent force of 
horse and foot under Sir Henry Chicheley; but when they 
were ready to march, he changed his mind and caused the 
men to be disbanded. All that the governor could be brought 
to think of was the construction of a chain of small forts 
along the border. Though this work was undertaken, its use- 
lessness was clearly seen from the outset. After the outrages 
had continued for several weeks longer and the Indians 
had penetrated to the upper and middle course of the 
James river, Berkeley replied to the appeals for help that 
nothing could be done until the regular meeting of the 
assembly in March. In view of this apathy it is not strange 
that the sufferers became almost frenzied, and that an old 
charge was revived and urged with redoubled earnestness, that 
Berkeley was sparing the Indians for the sake of their trade. 
When, in March, 1676, the Long Assembly met for the last 
time,' nearly 300 persons had perished at the hands of the 
natives. It declared war against the Indians and ordered 
the impressment of five hundred men. But no effective use 
was made of this force, for it was assigned to garrison duty in 
the forts to the building of which Berkeley was so fully com- 

^ Md. Arch., Proceedings of Assembly, 1606-1676, 475, and at interyals 
to the close of the volume. Ibid. Proceedings of Council, 1671-1681, 48. 
s Hening, U. 326. 


mitted. This convinced many of the sufferers in the upper chap. 
counties that no effective measures were to be taken for , ^^^^' 
their protection, and therefore they began to devise means 
for local self-defence. 

Charles City county was the first to beat up volunteers, 
using the prime necessity for self-defence, for the protection 
of the lives and property of its inhabitants, as a justifi- 
cation. The people of this county, and others who fol- 
lowed their example, expressly disclaimed any rebellious or 
treasonable intent. Grievances they had, which had their 
origin in what was believed to be the long-continued misgov- 
emment of the province. But these they now put aside, and 
as one party said, devoted their persons and fortunes freely to 
the redemption of their country, and became both the actors 
and the paymasters in this necessary defensive war. They 
regarded their conduct also as peculiarly adapted to the con- 
ditions of the frontier and to the methods of Indian warfare. 
Under such conditions local and personal initiative were most 
in demand.^ Though it would be unreasonable to suppose 
that all those who now flocked to arms were moved by a 
reasoned view of the situation, it is clear that the time had 
come when the people must assume responsibility for their 
own defence. In its earliest phase, this uprising was not a 
rebellion at all, but a necessary measure of self-defence. 

When the men of Charles City county and their neighbors 
looked about for a leader, they found him in the person of 
young Nathaniel Bacon, a man whose passions had been 
aroused by the suffering which he saw around him. About 
fourteen months before the beginning of the Indian war, 
Bacon, accompanied by his young wife, who was of the Suf- 
folk gentry, had removed to Virginia. His ancestors were 
kinsmen of Lord Bacon. His father's cousin, Nathaniel 
Bacon, of Kings Creek, in York county, had been a resident 
in the province for about fifteen years. The elder Bacon 
was a member of the council and a man of wealth and influ- 

^ See various declarations of those who shared in these events, and of 
Nathaniel Bacon himself, in Egerton Mas., copies of which are in both the 
Ya. State Library and the Library of Congress. The same is also clearly 
stated in Charles City County Grievances, Va. Mag. of Hist. III. 137. 


PART ence.^ The younger Bacon bought two estates on the James 
• river, one at Curl's wharf and the other above at the Falls. 
The position which he was expected to take in Virginia is 
indicated by the fact that he was almost immediately ap- 
pointed a member of the council. 

Bacon had studied law and had travelled on the continent 
of Europe. By nature he was intense and passionate, quick to 
resent injury and wrong. The royal commissioners, influ- 
enced, it must be believed, largely by unfavorable represen- 
tations, described him as a man of ^' an ominous, pensive,^ 
melancholy Aspect, of a pestilent and prevalent Logical dis- 
course tending to atheisme, in most companyes not given to 
much talke, or to make suddain replyes, of a most imperious 
and dangerous hidden Pride of heart, dispising the wisest of 
his neighbors for their Ignorance, and very ambitious and 
arrogant." This implies that Bacon was not an admirer of 
Berkeley and that from the first he found much in the polit- 
ical and social system of Virginia to criticise. He did not 
fit easily into the routine of official life. His arrival added 
an element of unrest to the many which, from a variety of 
causes, were accumulating in Virginia. The Scotchman, 
William Drummond, who had been governor of Albemarle, 
and Richard Lawrence, an Oxford graduate, both of whom 
were prominent residents of Jamestown, sympathized with 
the attitude which Bacon was inclined to assume, though this 
as yet by no means implied rebellion.* 

When Bacon witnessed the destruction that was being 
wrought on the frontier, and had lost a servant on one of his 
plantations, and when he saw the distracted people crowding 
toward the interior plantations, his ardent sympathies were 
fully aroused. He felt also that his position as councillor 
imposed upon him the obligation to do what he could for the 
protection of his neighbors. "I sent," he writes,* "to ye 

1 Neill, Virginia Carolorum, 243, 345 ; W. & M. Coll. Quarterly, X. 287. 
« Va. Mag. of Hist. IV. 122. 

* The Beginning, Progress, and Conclusion of Bacon's Rebellion, by T. M., 
Force, Tracts, I. The author is supposed to hare been Thomas Mathers, 
son of Samuel Mathews, and a resident of Northumberland county. 

* Bacon's statement, of June 18, 1676, W. & M. Coll. Quarterly, IX. 7. 


Govern' for a commission to fall upon y" but being from time CHAP. 


to time denied, and finding yt ye country was basely for a 
small and sordid gaine betraid, & ye lives and fortunes of ye 
poor inhabitants wretchedly sacrificed, resolved to stand up 
in this ruinous gap & rath*^ expose my life and fortune to all 
hazards, than basely desert my post. ..." Bacon was 
therefore as ready to lead the frontiersmen, from Charles 
City county and above, as they were to have him.^ He soon 
found himself at the head of a force which was said to num- 
ber about three hundred.^ With these, as the Susquehannas 
were in close relations with the Occaneechees, who lived 
on the Roanoke river and sold them ammunition. Bacon 
marched southward a hundred miles or more, till he met a 
body of the enemy and inflicted upon them a severe defeat.^ 
Governor Berkeley, in the meantime, issued a series of 
proclamations in condemnation of Bacon's enterprise and 
accompanied with commands for him to return. In the 
first of these the governor promised him pardon; but be- 
cause that offer was ignored, or not received, in the second 
Berkeley denounced him as a rebel and declared him sus- 
pended from the council, from his office as justice of the 
peace, and from all power civil and military.^ But as he 
advanced with a troop of horse up the courses of the York 
and James, with a view to Bacon's arrest, the governor 
found the spirit of opposition so strong that it was neces- 
sary to dissolve the Long Assembly and order a new elec- 
tion. By this act the crust of official privilege which for 
sixteen years had been forming in Virginia was broken 
through, and a brief opportunity was given for the expres- 

1 Some from Isle of Wight county also joined him. Va. Mag. of Hist. 11. 381. 

* So stated by Philip Ludwell in his letters of June 28 to Secretary William- 
son, Va. Mag. of Hist. I. 180. Bacon says that only seventy stood by him 
when the fight with the Indians came. W. and M. Coll. Quart. IX. 7. 

* An account of this expedition, written presumably by one of Bacon's 
soldiers, and Bacon's own account, both from the Egerton Mas., are printed 
in W. & M. Coll. Quarterly, IX. 7. A somewhat different story is told by 
Philip Ludwell in the letter just referred to, but Ludwell, besides being an 
opponent of Bacon, was not an eye-witness. 

^ This proclamation, dated May 16, 1675, is among the Egerton Mss., Va. 
State Library and Library of Congress. 


PART sion of opinions which were not shared by the official circle. 
The law, however, still required that the new assembly 
should be elected by householders and freeholders. 

Berkeley, in connection with the issue of the call for the 
new assembly, published a third declaration^ explaining 
why he was justified in proceeding against Bacon as a rebel 
and traitor. Bacon, he said, had taken up arms without 
authority from the government and notwithstanding its pro- 
hibitions ; and though he had done it in the service of the 
king and from patriotic motives, such an act was treason. 
Such, he said, was the law of England, and any peer who 
should commit the offence would suffer for it. Such an act, 
he continued, was certain in the end to be ruinous to both 
government and people. "The swearing* of men to live 
and die together is treason by the very words of the law." 
He challenged Bacon to show a single case where such pro- 
ceedings had been approved, but on the other hand a hun- 
dred examples could be cited of great and brave men who 
had been put to death for gaining victories against the com- 
mand of their superiors. Bacon, on the other hand, affirmed 
his innocence of treasonable intent and his willingness to 
have served under the governor, if the latter had taken the 
command.^ Inasmuch as the actual encounter with the 
enemy had occurred after Bacon had received the order to 
return, something might be said in support of the governor's 
contention. But Bacon's offence certainly did not come un- 
der the law of treason and under the circumstances did not 
involve rebellion, though it might possibly have been de- 
scribed by the old term, "accroaching royal power." Berke- 
ley declared that he was waiting to ascertain who the hostile 
Indians actually were, so as not to strike the settlements of 
friends. But in view of the fact that nearly ten months had 
passed since the raids began, this statement was absurd. It 
was a time when, if ever, the rights of humanity should 
triumph over the formal legal claims of a governor grown 

1 Neill, op, cit 361. The date was May 29. 

3 The men whom Bacon led against the Indians took an oath of sendee. 
* See letter of Bacon, dated May 26, written apparently in reply to 
Berkeley's second proclamation, Egerton Mss. 


despotic with age and with the adulation which he had long CHAP, 
received from a coterie of officials. Had Schuyler at Albany ^ 
or Pynchon at Spring^eld taken the initiative under such 
conditions, and that too without waiting ten months for 
action, we can scarcely imagine that it would have been 
met with the charge of treason. 

The popularity of Bacon in the upper settlements was 
sufficient to insure his election to the assembly from Hen- 
rico, for which the way had been opened by his suspension 
from the council.^ Owing to fears for his safety when he 
should reach Jamestown, an armed force of thirty to fifty 
men accompanied him to the capital. This gave to his 
demonstration a more serious aspect, indicating, as it did, 
an intention to overawe the assembly. Therefore, as his 
sloop approached Jamestown, it was fired upon. Bacon, 
however, landed and had an interview with Drummond 
and Lawrence. Finding apparently that he could not with 
safety attend the assembly, he attempted to return up the 
river. Then, under order from Berkeley, he was pursued 
by Captain Thomas Gardner in the ship Adam and JEve^ 
which was lying at Jamestown, and captured.^ 

When Bacon was brought before the governor, he was 
immediately released on parole. He took up his abode at 
the house of Lawrence, who kept an ordinary, and with 
whose cooperation he was doubtless acting. His relative, the 
councillor Bacon, perhaps as the result of an understanding 
with the governor, now interposed and with difficulty pre- 
vailed upon his high-spirited nephew to read an acknowl- 
edgement of his offence and a request for pardon.^ The 
paper being drawn for him. Bacon consented, and the next 
day the ceremony was duly performed before the governor 
and in the presence of the two houses of the legislature. 
The acknowledgment closed with a solemn promise that, 

1 The Beginning, etc., of Bacon's Rebellion, by T. M., 13. 

s Va. Mag. of Hist IV. 127 ; Colonial Papers, 1677-1680, 102, 105. The 

qrmpathy of the assembly with Bacon at this time, besides their regard for 

thefar priyilege, is shown by the tact that they fined Captain Gardner £70 

and imprisoned him till he shonld pay it. 

* T. M., 12, 15. The acknowledgment is in Hening, II. 543, and hi Neill, 


PART upon the grant of pardon, Bacon would always bear true 
faith and allegiance to the king and conduct himself duti- 
fully and peaceably toward the government of Virginia. 
The governor thereupon declared that he forgave him, and 
Bacon, with his associates, was released. Bacon himself 
was soon found sitting with the council, the supposition 
being that Berkeley desired by all means to keep him out 
of the assembly. 

Though the evidence is clear ^ that the two houses of the 
new general assembly sat apart, the governor and council 
were naturally anxious to so control the proceedings of the 
burgesses as to prevent the passage of reform measures. The 
burgesses were desired to confine their attention to Indian 
affairs and defence. But some of the members at once ad- 
dressed themselves to the work of reform, and a committee had 
been partly named to inspect revenues, accounts, and Indian 
affairs. One of the governor's friends in the house then 
moved that he be asked to permit two of the councillors to sit 
with and assist them in debates, as had been usual. The 
member from Stafford objected to giving the council any 
trouble until the house itself had formulated its views. At 
this there was an uproar, the friends of Berkeley urging that 
the presence of councillors had been customary and ought 
not to be omitted. An old member, named Presly, then 
arose and said, ^^ 'Tis true, it has been customary, but if we 
have any bad customs amongst us, we are come here to mend 
'em." This occasioned a general laugh. But the original 
proposal was carried, and the custom of admitting the coun- 
cillors was followed as of old. 

The character and amount of the legislation which was 
passed shows that the majority of the assembly trusted Bacon 
as an Indian fighter and was resolved to check some of the 
oligarchic tendencies in the government. An elaborate act for 
the prosecution of war against the Indians was passed, and 
Bacon was designated in it as the commander-in-chief of the 
force to be raised. They were to number one thousand 
men. The assembly readmitted freemen to the full right of 

^ See the pamphlet of T. M., who was a member. 


suffrage by repealing the act of 1670, making special provi- CHAP, 
sion also against the issue of false election returns. It ^^^ 
provided for the periodical election of vestrymen by the free- 
holders and freemen of the pai*ishes. It enacted that rep- 
resentatives of the people should cooperate with the justices 
in levying taxes and making by-laws for the counties. It rep- 
ealed the act exempting councillors and ministers from tax- 
ation, and enacted instead that the salaries of the councillors 
should be increased and that only clergymen in person, and 
not the members of their families, should be exempt from the 
levies. It provided that the county courts should appoint 
the collectors of county levies, and that no councillor should 
sit or vote with the county justices. A period of time was 
fixed within which the sheriffs must collect the public dues. 
Acts were also passed against the taking of illegal fees and 
the unlawful extension of terms of office. There is, Jiowever, 
no evidence to prove that Bacon was the leader in the pas- 
sage of these measures. His name is not prominently men- 
tioned in connection with them by any of the chroniclers of 
events, though most of the writers were in sympathy with 
the efforts that were making to break the power of the official 
oligarchy. Among the grievances which were later sub- 
mitted by Gloucester county occurs the significant statement, 
that ** many good Lawes were consented to by that Assembly 
[of June, 1676] before the Rebell Bacon came and interrupted 
die same." ^ 

Before the work of the assembly was done. Bacon seems to 
have been seized with a fear that Berkeley after all intended 
his ruin. He came not unnaturally to the belief that the gov- 
ernor's reconciliation with him was not genuine, but only a pre- 
tence, in order that he might the more effectually entrap him.^ 
This may have been a true interpretation of Berkeley's con- 
duct. At any rate. Bacon seems to have been confirmed in 
his belief of it by the fact that, after he had been made gen- 
eral of the forces by act of assembly, the governor still with- 
held his commission. Bacon saw through the plot, if there 

1 Va. Mag. of Hist H. 167. 

s See the pamphlet of T. M. 16 ; Va. Mag. of Hist IV. 129. 


PART was any, and, on the plea that he must visit his sick wife, 
^ J left Jamestown and proceeded up the river. There among 
his supporters he quickly raised a force of about five hundred 
men ^ and marched back to the capital, with the purpose of 
securing a commission which would make him commander of 
all the troops of the province against the Indians. This 
proved to be a turning point in the progress of affairs and 
events now rapidly drifted toward rebellion. Bacon becomes 
clearly the leader of a movement which is directed against 
the governor and his supporters throughout the province. 

Jamestown, as usual, was found defenceless.' Bacon 
entered the town and drew up his men near the building 
where the legislature was sitting. The burgesses flocked to 
the windows, while the inhabitants had been brought to- 
gether by the alarm, to see what was going to happen. The 
governor, in his helplessness, could only follow a policy of 
delay. He first sent certain councillors to learn Bacon's 
demands. Bacon insisted upon the commission. The one 
that was first brought him was not sufficiently broad in its 
terms ; it only gave him authority to lead the volunteer 
forces of the province against the Indians, while he desired 
the command of all the forces for the war. The governor 
then went out to meet the insurgent leader in person, and, 
according to one account, struck a melodramatic pose and 
dared Bacon to shoot him on the spot. According to other 
accounts he proposed that himself and Bacon should settle 
the question by compromise. Both of these offers were de- 
clined. After the governor had retired. Bacon in a fit of 
real or assumed passion, it is hard to tell which, threatened ' 
to fire on the legislature. His object in this seems to have 
been to bring the burgesses to his assistance in a joint move 
for the purpose of compelling the governor to grant the 
commission in the desired form. It was at any rate success- 
ful, and though the assembly declared its own inability to 

1 The author of the Borwell Ms. says 600. Sherwood, Va. Mag. of Hist. 
L 171, says at least 620. 

s The Burwell Ms. 12, in Force, L; Va. Mag. of Hist L 183. 

*This is confirmed by the account of T. M., 17, and also by those of 
Sherwood, Ludwell, and the CommissionexB, Va. Mag. of Hist L 173, 184 ; 
IV. 130. 


issue the document, its influence was used to compel the CHAP, 
governor to submit. Not only was power satisfactory in ^^^ 
extent bestowed on Bacon, but blank commissions for officers 
were given to him to be filled out and issued by himself at 
discretion.^ The assembly then passed^ an act of pardon 
for all crimes which had been committed between March 
1 and June 25, except violations of the law against trad- 
ing with the Indians. A report was also sent to the king, 
approving Bacon's conduct. The extent of Berkeley's hu- 
miliation is indicated by the fact that he signed it, along 
with the officers of the assembly. At the same time, how- 
ever, accounts by Berkeley himself and other members of 
his party were also despatched, giving their view of the case. 
On report of further outrages by the natives, the assembly 
was now dissolved, and Bacon with an augmented force 
marched to the Falls of the James to prepare for his second 
expedition against the Indians. 

But now that the reforming assembly had been dissolved 
and Bacon with his men was likely to be occupied with 
the Indians, Berkeley resolved, if possible, to raise the lower 
parts of the province against him. With this and the 
counter moves which it occasioned, the event resolves itself 
clearly into a struggle between the government and a re- 
bellious faction. Bacon and his men still did some fighting 
against the Indians. In this they were successful, and 
punished the clans on the York and Chickahominy rivers 
with severity.^ The Indian war soon abated, and interest 
then centred exclusively in the struggle between the gov- 
ernor and Bacon. 

As soon as Bacon had withdrawn from Jamestown, in 
July, 1676, Berkeley again proclaimed him a rebel, and at- 
tempted to call out the militia of Gloucester and Middlesex 
counties against him. But he found that he had been mis- 
taken in counting upon their loyalty, for they refused to 
serve against him who was defending the province against 

1 T. M., 19 ; Va. Mag. of Hist. IV. 130. 

* Hening, 11. 863. 

* See Narrative of CommisBionerB, Va. Mag. of Hist. IV. 137 ; Burk, n. 


PART the savages. If, however, after the Indian war was over, 
^' ^ Bacon should attempt anything against the governor's office 
or person, they declared that they would come to the support 
of the legal authorities.^ Bitterly disappointed by this 
reception in one of the richest and most populous districts, 
Berkeley, after launching another proclamation against 
Bacon, with such arms and ammunition as he could collect 
retired across the bay to Accomac. 

The ambiguous position in which Bacon was placed by 
the governor's opposition to his self-assumed leadership in 
the Indian war is reflected in the steps which he took at the 
Falls. Before setting out thence to find the Indians he and 
his soldiers took the oaths of allegiance and supremacy, in- 
tending thereby to prove their loyalty to the king. But 
at the same time Bacon required his soldiers to swear to 
him an oath of fidelity, that they would reveal any plot or 
intention of harm against him as their commander. The 
object of this was to hold the men together against any 
attack by the governor and his party.* 

No sooner had these steps been taken than news came of 
the attempt of Berkeley to raise Gloucester county and his 
renewed proclamation of Bacon as a traitor. Bacon, after a 
spirited address * to his men, led them thither. But finding 
the governor already departed for Accomac, Bacon went to 
Middle Plantation, afterwards Williamsburg, where he 
issued an eloquent defence of his cause, and an arraignment 
of the governor and council under the title of " The Dec- 
laration of the People." * 

In this document Bacon vented his dislike of the official 
clique in the following vigorous language: " Wee appeale to 
the Country itselfe what and of what nature their Oppres- 
sions have bin or by what Caball and mistery the designes 
of many of those whom wee call great men have bin trans- 
acted and caryed on, but let us trace these men in Author- 

1 Burwell Ms. 13, in Force, L « Va. Mag. of Hist IV. 131. 

» Ibid. 132. 

^ Ibid, I. 65-63. Another, but different, copy of the Declaration alone 
is in Neill, 361. The oontents are loosely outlined in the Burwell Ms., 


ity and Favour to whose hands the dispensation of the CHAP. 
Countries wealth has been comitted; let us observe the sud- 
den Rise of their Estates compared with the Quality in 
which they first entered this Country Or the Reputation 
they have held amongst wise and discerning men, And lett 
us see wither their extractions and Education have not bin 
vile, And by what pretence of learning and vertue they 
could soe soon [rise] into Imployments of so great Trust 
and consequence, let us consider their sudden advancement 
and let us also consider wither any Publick work for our 
safety and defence or for the Advancment and propogation 
of Trade, liberall Arts or sciences is here Extant in any 
[way], adequate to our vast chardg, now let us compare 
tiiese things togither and see what Spounges have suckt up 
the Publique Treasure and wither it hath not bin privately 
contrived away by unworthy Favourites and juggling 
Parasites whose tottering Fortunes have bin repaired and 
supported at the Publique chardg, now if it be so Judg what 
greater giult can bee then to offer to pry into these and to 
unriddle the misterious wiles of a powerful Cabal let all 
people Judge what can be of more dangerous Import than to 
suspect the soe long Safe proceedings of Some of our Gran- 
dees and wither People may with safety open their Eyes in 
soe nice a Concerne." 

In a latter part of the manifesto the complaints which 
had long been urged, though to an extent falsely, against 
Berkeley's government were stated in a formal series of 
charges. It was declared that he had levied unjust taxes 
in pretence of carrying out public works, and spent the 
revenue thus obtained upon favorites and for " other sinis- 
ter ends." He had not improved the means of defence, the 
towns, or the trade of the colony. He had brought the 
courts of justice into disrepute by promoting scandalous and 
ignorant favorites to the magistracy. By monopolizing the 
beaver trade he had wronged the king and betrayed or sold 
the lives of many loyal subjects to the Indians. The favor- 
itism he had shown toward the Indians since the beginning 
of the war had been unwarranted and had brought upon the 
people of the colony the most terrible sufferings. Finally, 

VOL. in — T 


FART Bacon condemned the governor's conduct toward himself 
and his followers, called him and nearly all the members of 
his council to account therefor, and declared them traitors 
to king and country, to be proceeded against by all loyal 
people and, if possible, captured. 

In connection with the issue of this ^^Declaration," Bacon, 
in August, called a convention of the gentlemen and in- 
habitants of Virginia to meet at Middle Plantation. To 
this body, which was numerously attended, he submitted a 
form of oath ^ that he desired to have taken by all his sup- 
porters. It was distinct from the oath which he had already 
administered to his soldiers, and was specially intended for 
his political allies. It contained not only a promise to assist 
Bacon, but an acknowledgment that all his acts had been 
legal, while the conduct of the governor and council had been 
illegal and ruinous to the country. But the clause which 
staggered those who were asked to take the oath was one 
which contained a promise to oppose any forces that might 
be sent from England until such time as Bacon might 
have acquainted the king with the state of the province and 
have received an answer. This involved the possibility of 
a direct breach of the oath of allegiance, and brought the 
thought of the penalties of treason home to the minds of 
many. Strong opposition was made in the convention to this 
clause of the oath, and we are told that all of Bacon's appeals 
that it should be included proved vain until news came that 
Berkeley, on his way to Accomac, had dismantled York fort 
to secure arms for his vessel, and had thus left the coast 
defenceless. Bacon, then consenting to a proviso, that no 
subscriber should be bound by anything which was inconsist- 
ent with his allegiance, the oath was taken and the entire 
declaration was ratified. They were then sent to the coun- 
ties to be accepted as a sort of provincial covenant, but 
it is said that the oath as there administered by the justices 
of the peace did not contain the proviso upon which those 
who were in attendance on the convention had insisted. 
The lengths to which Bacon was now prepared to go are 

1 Va. Mag. of Hist. IV. 136 ; BurweU Ms. 17-19. 


further shown by the fact that he issued a call for an CHAP, 
assembly, which was also signed by four of the council. ^^^* 

Owing to the fact that Virginia was a royal province, the 
uprising now began to assume some of the features of a colo- 
nial revolt. Not only was Bacon taking the offensive against 
the governor, but he seemed ready to risk an encounter with 
royal forces, should they be sent to Virginia for the support 
of the government. A conversation between Bacon and one 
John Good has been reported which, whether or not it ever 
occurred in the form that has been transmitted, sets forth 
ideas which may well have been floating at that time in the 
fertile mind of the insurgent leader. Bacon is represented 
as being aware of the possibility that the king might send 
two thousand redcoats against him; but he was confident 
that with their superior knowledge of the country and of the 
methods of warfare which were adapted to it, two hundred 
Virginians might beat them. The suggestion was made that 
the Virginians might be left helpless if they were cut off 
from English supplies, and that under this pressure and 
that which they would suffer from the ravages of a body of 
royal troops, they might hasten to make their peace with the 
king. In reply to this Bacon expressed confidence that 
France and the Dutch would open trade with them, while 
Maryland and Carolina would renounce their governors 
and join in the common revolt of the Southern provinces. 
** Why," said Bacon smiling, " have not many princes lost 
their dominions so ? " " The governors of Carolina," he con- 
tinued, ^^ have taken no notice of the people, nor the people 
of them, a long time, and the people are resolved to own their 
governor no further." We are already aware of the sympa- 
thetic movement which was beginning in Maryland, while 
Good, the reporter of this conversation, states that after 
hearing Bacon's utterances about Carolina, he understood 
why the name of that province had been made the watch- 
word for his troops. 

Bacon was already fascinated by the dream of colonial 
revolt, and its indefinite possibilities. The plans which were 
to take shape a century later were already floating dimly 
before his mind. With the ideas and projects of that time 


PART he was even now, though prematurely, familiar. He pro- 
^ f eased to . be ready to try the experiment and, if it should 
fail, to take refuge with his followers on some inaccessible 
island or in some recess of the wilderness beyond the reach 
of king or royal governor. To his mind Berkeley was the 
real traitor, and he himself the defender of the liberties of 
Virginians and of the justly ordered constitution of the prov- 
ince. As an illustration of the way in which abuses result- 
ing from the monopolization of power, because they occurred 
in a royal province, might be followed by an effort to re- 
nounce allegiance to the king. Bacon's rebellion is the most 
significant event in the history of the colonies prior to 

Though the mainland seemed as good as lost to him, 
Berkeley by special promises was able to gain a considera- 
ble support in Accomac, and while Bacon was engaged in 
his last operations against the Indians prepared to return 
to Jamestown. Bacon, as soon as he heard of the opera- 
tions of the governor, sent a vessel under the command 
of Bland and Carver to seize the person of the governor 
and deport him to England, as had been done years before 
in the case of Harvey.^ When the vessel arrived on the 
east shore, Berkeley invited Carver to visit his camp. 
During his absence Bland's vessel was seized by a body of 
the governor's men, and its commander and all the crew 
were made prisoners. When Carver returned, he too was 
taken and put in irons. 

The governor now crossed to the mainland, with a force 
said to number about six hundred men.^ But as the event 
proved, they must have been very poorly armed and a 
large part of them possibly bent on personal gain. The 
governor, however, is reported to have exacted from his fol- 
lowers at this time an oath to assist him against all who had 

^ Va. Mag. of Hist. IV. 136. This was the Giles Bland who had formerly 
quarrelled with the governor in reference to the enforcement of the acts of 

> Va. Mag. of Hist. IV. 141 et seq. In the Bnrwell Ms. the nnmber is 
stated to have been one thousand. This makes the events which follow 
seem still more incredible. 


taken up arms, and later this was effectually used in the sup- CHAP, 
pression of the revolt.^ Approaching Jamestown, which was 
in the hands of the Baconists, he summoned it to surrender, 
promising pardon to all except Lawrence and Drummond. 
On these terms the governor was readily admitted into 
the town. 

Bacon, meanwhile, after completing the discomfiture of the 
Indians, had disbanded all except about one hundred and 
fifty of his men. But with this body, which was soon 
increased to three hundred, he laid siege to Jamestown. 
Energy and resolution animated his men, while the govern- 
or's troops were guilty of gross cowardice. In attack as well 
as defence Berkeley's measures proved ineffective. Poor 
management and lack of spirit characterized the doings of 
his force, till finally, rather than face a general assault, the 
governor abandoned the town and retired down the river. 
Bacon entered the place and, hearing that a force under 
Colonel Brent was marching against him from the north, 
burned it to the ground. 

Bacon then crossed the river into Gloucester county, and 
prepared to advance against Brent. But before his men were 
ready he learned that Brent's force, hearing of the evacuation 
of Jamestown by Berkeley, had broken camp and returned 
to their homes. Bacon then administered his oath of fidelity 
and support to many of the inhabitants of Gloucester county, 
and prepared to invade Accomac. As he was about to set 
out upon this enterprise he suddenly sickened and died — 
October 18, 1676 — the victim of privations in the Indian 
war and before Jamestown. 

Whether, if Bacon had lived, he could have held his party 
together till the complete defeat of the governor had been 
assured, must always remain uncertain. No estimates have 
survived of the relative strength of the two factions. The 
sympathy with Bacon as an Indian fighter was very general. 
Correspondingly widespread was the dissatisfaction with the 
management of the government in recent years. A large 
component of the people seems to have been disposed to 

1 Winder Papers, Grieyances of Nansemond connty. 


PART regard Berkeley's distress with indifference, if not with joy. 
It is not improbable that they would have acquiesced in the 
forcible removal of the governor from the province. But 
that they would have followed Bacon into direct resistance 
to the will of the king is far from probable. There is no 
proof that Bacon really thought it would be necessary to 
take that step, though, had he survived, it would have been 
necessary for him to face the charge of treason. 

With the removal of the person of the leader, the move- 
ment very soon began to collapse. Colonel Ingram assumed 
command, but he was wholly unable to continue aggressive 
operations. Bacon, since his return from the Indian cam- 
paign, had not been followed by a large force. Now even 
such of his supporters as were under arms broke up into 
small bands, which posted themselves at West Point, Green 
Spring, or Pate's house. Unity of action among them ceased, 
and they soon dispersed before the approach of the governor.^ 
Now it was that Berkeley's insane vindictiveness had full 
rein, and for a time there was no one to oppose. Unlike his 
contemporaries in England, he ignored even the forms of a 
civil trial, and by summary process before a council of war 
hurried his leading opponents in rapid succession to the 
gallows.* Carver was among the first victims. Lawrence 
and Drummond, who had been Bacon's leading advisers, 
Berkeley was specially eager to seize. The former escaped 
him. The latter was captured, and when brought before 
the governor, he was greeted with the exclamation, " Mr. 
Drummond, you are very welcome; I am more glad to 
see you than any man in Virginia ; you shall be hanged in 
half an hour." In all no less than thirty-seven were exe- 
cuted, while others escaped the same fate only by flight.^ 

1 See the Borwell Ms. 

^ Berkeley later claimed that he acted as the king and his supporters had 
done daring the Civil War in England ; Colonial Papers, 1677-1680, 20, 27. 

* A typical case of this kind appears among the papers from Isle of 
Wight coonty (Winder Papers). It relates to one William Weest, or 
West, who had enlisted under Bacon against the Indians; hut when he 
heard the goyemor*s offer of indemnity, he laid down his arms and came 
in. He was later seized and his life threatened, and he had to seek safety 


Many more were condemned to heavy fines, banishment, or CHAP, 
imprisonment; and some were saved from the gallows only ^^'^* 
by acknowledging their treason and, on their knees with 
ropes round their necks, begging the pardon of the governor 
and council.^ 

These acts were confirmed by a royalist assembly which 
met in February, 1677.* This body also repealed the acts 
of the assembly of June, 1676, though by its own enactment 
it forbade pluralities in office-holding, brought to an end the 
exemption of councillors from taxation, and introduced a 
representative element into the vestries when they were 
engaged in the levying of county taxes.^ In the work of 
suppressing the rebellion Berkeley had especially the assist- 
ance of three able and unscrupulous lieutenants, Robert 
Beverley, Edward Hill, and William HartwelL* 

1 Hening, IL 649-568. * Ibid. 366. • Ibid, 389 et seq. 

* Namerous petitioiiB in Colonial Papers, March to May, 1677, prove the 
activity of HartwelL For the doings of Hill see hia Defense, Va. Mag. of 
Hist HLandlV. 




The frequent changes in the ministries which succeeded the 
downfall of Clarendon in 1667 were in a way reflected in the 
organization of the* administrative boards which had charge 
of plantation affairs. During the five or six years which 
followed 1670 a number of additional experiments were made 
in the organization of these boards. The fact will be recalled 
that in 1660 both a council of trade and a council of foreign 
plantations were created. But experience seems to have 
proven that one or the other of these was a superfluous 
piece of machinery. . The membership of the councils may 
also have seemed too large. In July, 1670,^ the number of 
members composing the council for foreign plantations was 
reduced to ten. Though the dignity of the board was some- 
what lowered by the omission from it of the great officers of 
state, still it was provided that these officers might attend 
and vote, if they desired. The members of the council, 
as thus organized, were the Earl of Sandwich, president, 
Richard Lord Gorges, William Lord Alling^n, Thomas 
Grey, Henry Brouncker, Sir Humphrey Winch, Sir John 
Finch, Silus Titus, Edmund Waller, Henry Slingesb^i The 
last named was secretary, and the quorum was five. 

The ten members were salaried, and were instructed to 
secure minute information of the condition and government 
of the colonies and how the commissions which had been 
issued had been executed. They were also to ascertain the 
number of free inhabitants and of servants in the colonies, to 
see if any colonies were overstocked with servants or slaves; 

1 The commission for this board is not extant, bat the instrnctions to it 
have been preserved, and a warrant to the attorney general, dated November 
18, 1670, shows that the commission was issued on July 30 of the same year. 
Colonial Papers, 1060-1674, 77, 135 ; N. T. Col. Docs. UL 191. 



to order that care be taken to encourage the best native CHAP, 
products, the breeding of cattle, and the production of 
materials for shipbuilding. They should see that the Indians 
were treated justly and received no provocation. 

In March, 1671,' six leaders of the nobility were added to 
the council — the Duke of York, Prince Rupert, the Duke of 
Buckingham, the Duke of Ormond, the Earl of Lauderdale, 
and Thomas Lord Culpeper. John Evelyn was made a 
salaried member. In August, 1671, Sir Richard Temple was 
also added to the board. 

On September 27, 1672, a new commission was issued to 
the Earl of Shaftesbury and others to be a council for trade 
and foreign plantations.^ This is understood to have been 
a consolidation of the two councils, — the one for domestic 
trade and the other for foreign plantations, — which had 
existed since 1660. Though it simplified matters, the 
arrangement which was made in 1672 continued for only two 
years. In December, 1674, after the fall of the Cabal ministry, 
the existing commission was revoked, and all the papers of 
the board were ordered to be passed over to the clerk of the 
privy council. On the 12th of the following March * (1675) 
the care of trade and plantations was intrusted to a com- 
mittee of the privy council of twenty-one members. This 
brought the leading statesmen in the council into close 
connection with plantation affairs, including especially the 
Earl of Danby, Secretary Coventry, and Secretary William- 
son. The immediate charge of the business was given to the 
Earl of Anglesey, who was lord privy seal, the Earl of 
Bridgewater, the Earl of Carlisle, the Earl of Craven, Vis- 
count Fauconberg, Viscount Halifax, Lord John Berkeley, 
the chancellor of the exchequer, and the vice chamberlain, 
or any five of them, these men having been conversant with 
plantation affairs. Sir Robert Southwell was ordered con- 
stantly to attend the committee. The body, thus organized, 

1 N. T. CoL Doc«. III. 191 ; Colonial Papers, 1669-1674, 178 ; Evelyn's 
Memoin, Edition of 1827, n, 387. 

a ColonUl Papers, 1668-1674, 407, 449, 631 ; Palfrey, IH. 33. 

• Colonial Papers, 1669-1674, 631 ; ibid. 1675-1676, 182, 183 ; N. T. Col. 
Docs. m. 228, 229. 


was ordered to meet weekly and report to the privy council. 
It was known as the Lords of the Committee of Trade and 

The committee, about six months after its appointment, 
sent a ^ circular letter to the governors of the royal provinces, 
commanding them to transmit a full account of the condition 
of their respective provinces, their laws, officials, military 
population, course of trade, the condition of neighboring 
countries, and a statement of all other facts which seemed 
important. They should continue at intervals thereafter to 
send a journal of occurrences under the heads just designated.^ 
Elaborate reports were submitted by governors of the island 
colonies, and correspondence was steadily maintained with 
them. Considerable information about New York was ob- 
tained by the examination of Andros in 1678, while Governor 
Dongan sent a very full report in 1687.* In 1671 Berkeley 
had reported for Virginia,* but we have no record of any 
later report during his administration. Culpeper reported 
in 1681 and again in 1683.^ The only reply of Lord Balti- 
more to inquiries by the government concerning Maryland 
was in 1678.* But only in a few instances during the period 
under review did the reports of the English governors contain 
the systematic detail which the circular letter implied. The 
committee of trade and plantations was retained, as the in- 
strument through which the privy council did much of its 
colonial business, until the board of trade was created in 
1696. While the committee was in existence the system of 
executive control over the colonies was developed until it 
resulted, under James II, in the attempt to unite or consoli- 
date them into a vast governor-generalship or presidency. 
The first stage of the process, so far chiefly as it affected the 
governmental system of Virginia, must now be described. 

1 Colonial Papers, 1675-1676, 269. See minutes of this body in Calendars. 
N. Y. Col. Docs. III. 231. 

3 In June, 1686, the command was repeated. Ibid, 876. The governors 
and intendants of Canada regularly made such reports in the form of 
journals. « N. Y. Col. Docs. HI. 260, 889. 

* Colonial Papers, 1669^1674, 232 ; Ibid. 1675-1676, 874. 

• Va. Mag. of Hist. UL 226 ; Colonial Papers, 1681-1685, 153, 496. 
« Md. Arch., CouncU, 1667-1688, 264. 


In September, 1676, the news of Bacon's rebellion reached CHAP. 
England, and the attention of the home government was at 
once diverted from the preparation of a charter for Virginia 
to measures for the restoration of order and quiet. Secretary 
Coventry and the other officials concerned realized that the 
administration of Berkeley must be brought to an end, 
though in such way as to inflict the least humiliation on the 
aged governor. The course of action adopted was to order 
Berkeley to return to England and report on the condition 
of the province, while provision should be made for the 
appointment of a lieutenant governor to serve in his place 
during his absence. A royal proclamation of pardon was 
issued in favor of Berkeley and the assembly for their share 
in granting the commission to Bacon to be general of the 
forces against the Indians, it being held that the act was 
done under intimidation. Pardon was also extended to all 
subjects who had been induced by false representations to 
join the rebels, if within twenty days after the proclamation 
was published they should make full submission and give 
security for good behavior. Letters were also sent to Mary- 
land, New York, and Massachusetts for the arrest of Bacon, 
in case he should have fled thither, for he was excluded from 
all chance of pardon. The necessity of sending a royal com- 
mission to Virginia to inquire and report on the troubles 
was also realized from the first. While the composition and 
powers of that body were under consideration it was pro- 
posed to appoint Sir Henry Chicheley, one of the councillors 
of Virginia, lieutenant governor. But as the seriousness of 
the situation became more evident, this feature of the plan 
was dropped, and Colonel Herbert Jeffreys, one of the com- 
missioners, was appointed instead.^ 

The commission itself consisted of Herbert Jeffreys, Sir 
John Berry,* and Francis Moryson. Of these Moryson 
was a Virginian, had long served as agent for the province, 
and was the only member of the board who was specially 

1 Colonial Papers, 1676-1676, 448-467, 476, 4S8. 

< On Berry, to whose earlier services in the West Indies reference has 
already been made, see Va. Mag. of Hist. IIL 147. Also Corbet, England 
hi the Mediterranean, IL 126, 134. 


PART acquainted with local conditions. But he later wrote in the 
' J highest terms of both his colleagues, stating that no fitter 
person than Colonel Jeffreys could have been found to quell 
the rebellion, while Berry he commended as a man of un- 
biassed principles, prudent conduct, and unwearied industry.^ 
Moryson's knowledge of Indian warfare and the resources 
of Virginia at once convinced him of the inexpediency of 
sending many troops with the commissioners, while he was 
convinced that the natural loyalty of the people would assert 
itself if their real grievances were redressed. But it was 
decided that the commissioners should take a force of about 
a thousand soldiers with them, and of the entire expedition, 
while at sea, Sir John Berry was appointed commander. Jef- 
freys, as head of the commission and himself a military offi- 
cer, was intrusted with the duty of raising a part of the 
force, which were designated as ^^ volunteers," and with the 
keeping of their accounts.^ 

The general view of the government,* as shown in its 
commission to Jeffreys, Berry, and Moryson, was that the 
disorders in Virginia were due to grievances which, because 
of the remoteness of the province from England, its inhab- 
itants could not easily make known to the king. The duty 
of the commissioners should be to ascertain, by the examina- 
tion of witnesses or in other ways, what those grievances 
were and report them to his Majesty, to the end that they 
might be redressed. They were to acquaint themselves with 
the laws of the colony and its political conditions, and re- 
port the same to the king. They also carried with them a 
royal proclamation which declared that those among Bacon's 
adherents who within twenty days after its publication should 
submit, take the oath of allegiance, and give security for good 
behavior, should be pardoned ; while the servants and slaves 

1 Colonial Papers, 1677-1680, 42. 

> Ibid, 1670-1677, 460 tt seq. The master of the ordnance in England, 
who was intrusted in part with the outfit of the expedition, was Sir Thomas 
Chicheley. The admiralty was called into requisition to furnish the ship- 
ping for the conveyance of the troops. Berry also, when he arrived in 
America, claimed to have received from the king full power to command all 
merchant ships and seamen within the rivers of Virginia. Colonial Papers, 
1677-1680, 12. 

< Ibid, 1675-1676, 469, 468, 476, 483, 492, 498. 


of those who held out, if they would take arms under the chap. 
governor or commander-in-chief, should be freed from ser- ^ ^* 
yice to their former masters. As it was supposed that the 
insurrection and the Indian war would both be in progress 
on their arrival, the commissioners were instructed to use 
their best efforts to bring them to an end. Bacon, if caught, 
they were to bring to trial and then send to England with 
proofs of his crimes. Certain additional instructions were 
sent to Berkeley, but their effect was largely nullified by a 
positive order that, because of his age, he should return to 
England and report the circumstances of the rebellion. 
Jeffreys, as lieutenant governor, should take his place. 

In some respects the duties of this commission were much 
less important, as they were less diiOKcult, than those of the 
body which was sent to New England in 1664. They had 
to do with only one colony and not with an entire group of 
colonies. They were not intrusted with the task of subdu- 
ing an alien people. They were not empowered to hear ap- 
peals or to settle boundary disputes. They were to aid in 
subduing the Indians and in pacifying a naturally loyal 
people, and were to report the facts to the king. Diligence 
and an open mind were the chief requirements for such a task. 
But they had an enraged governor to deal with, a man made 
arrogant by long years of undisputed authority. His sup- 
porters in the council and assembly might easily make 
trouble. The commissioners were also bringing a consid- 
erable body of troops into a province which was distracted 
and impoverished by prolonged civil strife, and the finding 
of support for these men soon proved to be one of the most 
difficult tasks which the commissioners had to face. And 
yet their errand was one from which success and fruitful 
results might fairly be expected.^ 

The commission reached Virginia about the beginning 
of February, 1677. It found Bacon dead, his friends dis- 
persed, and twenty or more executed. Jamestown was in 
ruins. Berkeley was in the midst of his reprisals. Not 
only were executions still in progress, but the governor, 

^ The chief source of information for the doings of the commissioners is 
in their report, which is prmted in part in the Va. Mag. of Hist. IV. 117. 


PART whose plantation at Green Spring had been plundered, 
with the consent of the council was confiscating the prop- 
erty of the insurgents. He declared that the rebels had 
left him no corn and but one ox and one cow, and yet he 
had to support some two hundred men at his house. How 
then, he demanded, could he provide quarters for a thousand 
soldiers and a magazine of food and ammunition for their 
use ? He had supposed that the commissioners would bring 
only a frigate or two with them and never desired any sol- 
diers. The people also were startled by their presence.^ 
It is not surprising, therefore, that the commissioners found 
great difficulty in quartering the troops, and that their pres- 
ence raised as many obstacles as it relieved. It soon became 
apparent that their services against the Indians would not 
be required; while, now that the rebellion was ended, the 
province most needed quiet and an opportunity to recover 
from its half ruined condition. 

On the other hand, the attitude of hostility and obstruc- 
tion which Berkeley and the majority whom he controlled in 
the council and assembly, at once assumed toward the com- 
missioners, makes it pretty clear that, if it had not been for 
the moral influence of the soldiery, the royal agents would 
have accomplished even less than they did. Since Bacon was 
dead, the governor considered it improper to publish the 
king's proclamation of amnesty which the commissioners had 
brought with them, but, contrary to their advice, issued one 
of his own instead. From the benefit of his proclamation he 
excluded eighteen of the rebels.^ To a variety of questions 
about the general condition of the province and reforms 
which were immediately needed the commissioners could ob- 
tain no replies from Berkeley.' His pique was shown at 
times by the assumption of an air of mock humility, but more 
often by stubborn persistence in his chosen course of action.* 

1 Colonial Papers, 1677-1680, 11, 13, 17-19, 21, 22, 27, 37. At the middle 
of February Berkeley declared that he was keeping at least thirty prisoners 
in his house and a guard of fifty to secure them ; this he had done on the 
charity of some of his friends. 

^ This proclamation the king revoked when later he heard that it had been 
iflsued. May 16, 1677, ibid. 86. 

• Colonial Papers, ibid, 15, 18, 19, 61. « Ibid. 20, 24, 26. 


At first the commissioners were careful to assume the chap. 
attitude of advisers, but, as Berkeley continued the seizure ^ ^^• 
of the persons and property of delinquents without trial, 
their tone was changed to one of protest. At the outset 
they had told the governor that they thought he should refer 
to the king the whole question of the transfer of the estates 
of delinquents as a form of restitution to loyal sufferers. 
But a crowd of impoverished supporters were clamoring for 
relief, while Berkeley desired as well to make his own losses 
good. Therefore the process of confiscation continued. The 
commissioners condemned this course of action as wholly 
illegal and unjustifiable, but Berkeley sought to clear himself 
by citing instances of seizures which had been made by order 
of the king during the Civil War in England.^ The com- 
missioners finally demanded that he should furnish them 
with a list of all seizures, compositions, fines, and forfeitures 
which as the result of the rebellion devolved to the crown; 
also a list of all the insurgents who had been indicted, con- 
victed, and punished, in order that a strict account thereof 
might be rendered in England. But this the governor 
neglected to do, and the commissioners had to make such in- 
quiry of their own as was possible.* 

In February the session of the assembly, to which ref- 
erence has already been made, was held. This was in har- 
mony with the instructions of the commissioners, and they 
submitted to it the measures of reform which seemed to tliem 
adequate or at least most important. But as these most 
directly concerned the alleged large salaries and perquisites 
of members, they naturally did not find a place in the leg^- 
lation of the body. The assembly was also told that the 
conclusion of peace with the Indians was the king's affair, 
and in reference to this they were to do no more than offer 
advice. To the passage of a general act of oblivion the 
body was opposed, and in this the commissioners saw con- 
vincing evidence that the understanding between the mem- 
bers and Berkeley was fully maintained. Councillors and 
assemblymen, as well as the governor, in the opinion of 

1 Ibid, 20, 21, 27. « Ibid. 37, 38, 41. 


Jeffreys and his associates, were interested in the continu- 
ance of reprisals.^ To the letter of the commissioners the 
assembly made no reply. 

Under these conditions it naturally became a prime object 
of effort on the part of the commissioners to get Berkeley 
out of the province. But in the royal instruction on this 
point it was stated that the governor might suit his con- 
veniency in the choice of a date for his departure. Of this, 
on advice of the council, full advantage was taken. Jeffreys 
also had brought with him a commission of oyer and terminer 
to the governor, to be used in the trial of the rebels. The 
effect of this — as also interpreted by the council — was to 
continue Berkeley in his office, while diligent use was made 
of the commission in the trials which followed.' Berkeley 
also insisted that, when he should go, Jeffreys would be but 
his deputy and that the next year he should return and be 
governor again. By these tactics he was able to postpone his 
departure till the beginning of May. Shortly before he 
went he, or some of his family, attempted to insult the com- 
missioners by ordering the common hangman to drive them 
home after a call; while, as his final message, he assured 
Jeffreys that the people would soon see the difference be- 
tween the rule of one who knew their laws, customs, and 
nature and one who totally lacked acquaintance with these 
subjects. In a few weeks after his arrival in England 
Berkeley died, and such inquiry as would otherwise have 
been made into his conduct was by that event prevented.' 

The commissioners, whose most trying relations had been 
with the governor, found the rest of their task somewhat 
simplified by his removal. On May 29 they concluded a 
treaty with the Indians of lower Virginia, in the benefits of 
which the English of Maryland were also to share. The 
terms of this agreement fittingly summed up and concluded 
the development of Indian relations within the settled re- 

1 Colonial Papers, 1677-1680, 26, 40, 42. 

« Ibid. 21, 22, 24, 40, 64-67, 78, 92. 

* Ibid. 105, 106, 107, 138, 142, 143. On the return of the commissionera 
some effort was made by Lord John Berkeley to olear his brother's reputa- 
tion. Ibid, 186, 187, 194. 


g^ons of the province during the seventeenth century.^ They 
are also in marked contrast to the policy of extermination 
which was advocated by Bacon and his followers.^ The 
Indians acknowledged immediate subjection to the king of 
England, paying yearly in lieu of a quit rent three Indian 
arrows, and in March of every year tendering to the governor 
at his residence twenty beaver skins. By these acts the chiefs 
acknowledged that they held their dignities and lands of the 
king. Their lands were also to be confirmed to them under 
the seal of Virginia as freely *^ as others his Majesty's sub- 
jects." Finally, Indians who had not sufficient lands were 
to have such laid out and confirmed to them and were to 
keep them as long as they maintained due obedience to the king 
and his government. No Englishmen were to settle within 
three miles of an Indian town, and if any should encroach 
on the land of natives, they should be removed. The Ind- 
ians should enjoy under license their accustomed hunting, 
fishing, and oystering grounds, and by means of licenses all 
their intercourse with the whites should be regulated. They 
were to give notice of the approach of enemies and should 
be supplied with ammunition to enable them to actively aid 
the English. If any cause of difference with the whites 
should arise, they should resort to the governor and try to 
have the dispute adjusted. Subject to these limitations, the 
government of the chiefs over their tribesmen should con- 
tinue. Subsequently the lords of trade found that steps had 
not actually been taken to include Maryland in this treaty, 
and therefore an order in council was issued • to the effect 
that an Indian policy in which the colonies generally would 
be included should be initiated. To the consequences which 
followed from this, not only in Maryland and Virginia, but 
in New York, reference has elsewhere been made.* 

In obedience to their instruction to report upon the griev- 
ances of the people against the government of Virginia, 

1 Copies from Ancient Records of Va., in Library of Va. Hist Soc. 

* This course was repeatedly urged by Bacon himself, and the idea appears 
in the grievances of some of the counties which most clearly exhibited his spirit. 

« Colonial Papers, December 18, 1677, January 18, 1678 ; MacDonald 
Papers, Va. State Library. « Vol. IL of this work, p. 422 et seq. 

VOL. Ill — u 


PART the commissioners had early called upon Governor Berkeley 
'for assistance. He had caused orders to be issued to the 
justices of the counties to call sessions of the county courts 
and summon the people thither to state their complaints.^. 
Reports have been preserved from seventeen counties and 
two parishes. In most cases they are certified by the county 
justices and the local burgesses, and return of them was 
made to the assembly of February, 1677, as well as to the 
royal commissioners. From both Nansemond and the Isle 
of Wight counties came two sets of grievances, one in each 
case being a genuine expression of Baconist sentiment.* 
The statements from the upper counties were filled with 
references to the Indian war. To evils of this kind the 
tidewater counties were for the most part oblivious. Ac- 
comac and Northampton' were wholly loyal and asked 
only for a few local reforms. Several of the counties (ewen 
Charles City) referred to Bacon as an impostor or rebel, 
and none expressed sympathy with what were supposed 
to have been his later aims. Several condemned the do- 
ings of certain resident councillors or other officials, as 
Charles City county in reference to Edward Hill, Gloucester 
county in reference to Robert Beverley, the Baconists of Isle 
of Wight against Joseph Bridger, and those of Nansemond 
against John Lear and David Lear.^ The plundering of 
estates by both parties during the later stage of the rebellion 

^ The proceedings in Northumberland county (Winder Papers) well illus- 
trate the method of taking this sworn inquest. The statements from some 
of the counties are printed in the Va. Mag. of Hist. II. and III., while brief 
summaries of them all are to be found in the Colonial Papers under date of 
March, 1677. Copies of the grievances in full are in the Winder Papers, Va. 
State Library. A number of individuals also presented complaints or peti- 
tions, which are calendared among the Colonial Papers. See Colonial Papers, 
1677-1680, 202, and many other entries. 

« That from Isle of Wight County is hi Va. Mag. of Hist II. 380. 

» See Va. Mag. of Hist. II. 289. 

* Replies, more or less detailed, to these charges are in existence from all 
the accused except the Lears. That of Hill is in Va. Mag. of Hist. III. and 
IV. Beverley made a defence before a committee of the assembly of Feb- 
ruary, 1677. The royal commissioners inquired into the charge against 
Bridger (who was a relative of one of them) and found it not true. See 
Winder Papers. 


was generally condemned, and restitution to innocent parties CHAP, 
was demanded. ^' 

How far these statements of grievances were the genuine 
expression of popular feeling and how far they were colored 
by the influence of officials who had a hand in drafting them, 
it is not easy to decide. In the case of some of the counties 
the statements are pretty clearly official and perfunctory. 
At the other extreme stand the Baconist protests from Nan- 
semond and Isle of Wight, which were repudiated by the 
county authorities and contain the only expression of dis- 
tinctly lower class opinion among the tidewater counties 
which has survived. But the general agreement between 
the measures urged in these ^^ grievances " and the legislation 
which was enacted by the assembly of June, 1676, is perfectly 
clear. ^ The acts of that assembly did not include all or 
nearly all of the reforms which were suggested by the coun- 
ties, but some of them were there and the rest were similar 
in purpose. The demand was general for low taxes, for a 
stricter accounting and control over expenditure, for a gen- 
eral regulation of fees, for a reduction of the cost necessitated 
by sessions of the assembly even though that should lead to 
the lessening of their number. The recurrence of complaints 
about the expenditure on forts and the tax for buying up 
the Arlington-Culpeper claim shows how deeply they had 
offended the colonists; but they were matters in which Berke- 
ley and his advisers were not so seriously at fault. It is 
true that the province was almost practically defenceless ; 
but that was a condition which it shared with all the other 
colonies, while against the waste at Point Comfort the Vir- 
ginia officials had always protested. Some pretence of hav- 
ing instituted an improved system of audit and accounting 
was made by the assembly of 1677 ; ^ but methods in such 
matters were crude in all the colonies, and the demand was 
probably for a reform that was more thorough than practice 
either in England or America would then have justified. 
The complaints that county levies were made in secret ses- 

1 Two or three counties demanded that those laws be re^nacted. 
* The Winder Papers contain certain imperfect accounts which were sent 
by that assembly to England. 


PART sions of the justices, that fayoritism often determined ap- 
^* pointments, that sheriffs held oflBce beyond their legal terms ; 
the insistence that there should be no exemptions from 
taxation, that taxes should be levied on land rather than by 
poll, that county records should be made more accessible, — 
were somewhat less general, but were aimed at real evils in 
the political system. Many of the demands were for the 
remedy of wrongs which had been committed by one party 
or the other during the late civil troubles and called for no 
change of policy. 

The view therefore seems justified that the ^^ grievances " 
fairly expressed the prevailing opinion concerning the evils 
from which the province was suffering. As the commission- 
ers were well aware, they did not indicate the existence of a 
dangerous spirit of revolt. ^^ You should acquiesce in the laws 
passed by your assemblies," was the answer made to most of 
the complaints by the assembly of February,^ 1677 ; and, 
now that the Indian war was over and Bacon was dead, the 
disposition to do this was general. But this sounded the 
knell of further sweeping reforms. That the tone of as- 
semblies would be greatly changed, was in no way probable. 
Now that the struggle with the Dutch was over, Virginia 
waters were not again visited by hostile and destructive 
squadrons. The unity of the province was not again im- 
perilled by proprietary grants. For some years the quiet of 
the border settlements was disturbed by occasional Indian 
raids from the north. For a time they were referred to 
with anxiety in the official communications to the home gov- 
ernment, and they occasioned the stationing of troops of 
horse on the upper courses of the principal rivers. Because 
of them, as we have seen, a more comprehensive Indian 
policy was adopted, and that at the instance of the English 
government and its appointees. But after the outbreak of 
the French wars, the Indians gave Virginia very little 
trouble. Her peace was scarcely disturbed. Her easy-go- 
ing methods of defence were not again brought seriously 
to the test till the middle of the next century. The tobacco 
industry slowly adjusted itself to requirements of the acts 

^ Winder Papers. 


of trade. A fair degree of general prosperity was main- CHAP. 
tained. Though the complaints and agitations which appear ^^ 
at large through the colonies were reflected in Virginia, no 
organic change occurred there, and the trend of its legislation 
was not seriously modified. The crust of social and official 
privilege formed again, or rather it had never really been 
broken through, and Virginia easily and naturally took its 
place within the growing circle of royal provinces. ^ 

Berry and Moryson returned to England in the summer 
of 1677, taking with them the ships and all of the troops ex- 
cept two companies. Jeffreys was left as lieutenant governor, 
a poet which, with declining health, he held till his death, 
early in 1679. It was inevitable that for some years affairs 
in Virginia should continue in an unsettled state. Though 
the Indians of lower Virginia were effectually pacified, the 
northern tribes continued their raids. Some outrages were com- 
mitted and fears were entertained that there might be another 
Indian ^ war. In many quarters acute poverty and distress 
followed in the wake of the rebellion. The competition of 
Maryland and of the Albemarle settlements in the production 
of tobacco continued as serious as ever, and as a result the 
prices of that staple ranged low. The sensitiveness of the 
taxpayer continued, and it was now shown particularly in his 
insistence that quit rents should be remitted. This brought 
up the question of the claims of Lord Culpeper under the 
grant of the Northern neck, a matter which was not yet ad- 
justed. The home government was also slow in sending 
remittances for the two companies which had been left in 
the province, and especially to pay for their quarters. In 
1679 the counties in which they were stationed complained 
of this to the assembly, and on its representation to the 
home government sums for the payment of arrears were sent 

Jeffreys, moreover, was left in the midst of a violent con- 

^ See especially the letters of LienteDant Governor Chicheley in 1670 ; of 
Secretary Nicholas Spencer, in 1680, and letters to Lord Culpeper, in July, 
1681. Colonial Papers. 

* Colonial Papers, May 20, NoTember 1, December 1, 6, 1670, and January 
12, 1680. 


PART troversy with the assembly over the charge that Berry and 
Moryson, before they returned to England, had forced Rob- 
ert Beverley, the clerk, to surrender into their keeping the 
journals and other papers of that body for the sessions of 
1676 and of February, 1677. This Berry and Moryson 
claimed they were empowered by their commission to do; 
but the assembly denounced the act as an outrage, as in- 
consistent with their privileges as a legislative body; and 
they were ready to affirm that no king of England had ever 
treated parliament in such fashion. Jeffreys charged Bever- 
ley with trying to bring the entire work of the commission 
into contempt, and put Philip Ludwell under restraint. 
This was evidently a continuation of the quarrel with Berke- 
ley and his party, and several years passed before Virginia 
and the home government heard the last of it.^ It thus 
appears that the situation in Virginia called for wise and 
prompt action on the part of the home government, for such 
an adjustment of affairs as would facilitate the healing of the 
wounds which had been inflicted during the late rebellion. 
In the first place the commissioners were of course looked to 
for light on the situation. 

At the close of the elaborate report ^ which the commis- 
sioners on their return presented to the committee for foreign 
plantations, they recommended that the property which had 
been forcibly seized during the late rebellion, and especially 
since the laying down of arms, should be restored; that a 
general act of oblivion be prepared in England and sent to 
the assembly, with the injunction that it be passed; likewise, 
that the act of attainder passed at the last session of the as- 
sembly be repealed. It was also recommended that his 
Majesty order a good fort and a state house to be built at 
Jamestown and a garrison to be maintained there. The ex- 
pense of this should be paid out of the colonial quit rents 
and a tax on imported liquors, similar to that levied in Bar- 
badoes. This suggested a defect in the fiscal system of Vir- 
ginia which had occasioned no( a little of the complaint 

1 Colonial Papers, 1677-1680, 197, IdS. 220, 801-802 ; 197, 220, 801. 
s The report is printed in part in Va. Mag. of Hist. lY. 117 et $eq. 


before and after the uprising; namely, the oppressiveness CHAP, 
of the poll tax, which was due in part to the fact that the ^' 
revenue was derived to so large an extent from this source. 
The commissioners suggested that the tithables be relieved 
by the introduction of another form of tax, the import duty, 
a form in use in most of the other colonies, but which it had 
not yet occurred to the Virginians to adopt. The commis- 
sioners also thought that in future, till the country should be 
fully and peacefully settled, the Virginia ships should go 
each year in fleets under the convoy of a royal frigate. It 
was finally their opinion that the growth of independent 
settlements in Maryland and Carolina would in time result 
in the political and economic ruin of Virginia. " Therefore," 
they say, " we propose that (with a salvo of right to the Pro- 
prietors) the jurisdiction and power of government may so 
reside in your Majesty, that they may be obedient to all 
orders, rules and processes of your Majesty and Council, 
else you will find you have not only given away so much 
land but so many subjects also, and the next generation will 
not know or own the royal power, if their writs, trial, and 
processes be permitted to continue in the name of the Pro- 
prietors, and their oath of fealty without any salvo of alle- 
giance to your Majesty. It not only ruins servants, but 
runaway rogues and rebels fly to Carolina on the south as 
their common subterfuge and lurking place, and when we 
remanded some of the late rebels by letters, we could not 
have them sent back to us.'' In these words the commis- 
sioners registered their opinion against the policy of creating 
more chartered colonies and in favor of restricting the inde- 
pendence of those which were already in existence. 

The lords of trade examined the report of the commis- 
sioners and the statements of grievances from the Virginia 
counties in considerable detail and expressed satisfaction 
with their conduct.^ They necessarily accepted a view of the 
origin of the trouble which was in general harmony with that 
of the commissioners. They held that Berkeley and the as- 
sembly had exceeded their powers in the granting of par- 

^ Colonial Papers, December 6, 1677 et aeq. 


PART dons as well as the issue of attainders, and reported that all 
^^ ^ laws which had been passed contrary to the royal instruc- 

tions and proclamation should be annulled.^ Efforts on the 
part of Lord John Berkeley and Alexander Culpeper to 
clear away the charges against the memory of the late gov- 
ernor met with' no encouragement. A marked willingness, 
on the other hand, was shown to do justice to such peti- 
tioners as the widow of William Drummond, and to any who, 
like Captain Gardner, had done the king a good service. 

As Jeffreys had died and Sir Henry Chicheley, who suc- 
ceeded him, was far from competent, steps were taken in 1679 
to send over a governor of full rank who should carry with 
him the final orders of the king and, if possible, complete 
the pacification of the province. Thomas, Lord Culpeper, 
was selected for the place. Though he appears to have 
been a man of some ability, the selection was an unfortunate 
one because of his earlier connection with Virginia as its 
would-be proprietor, and because, as the events proved, he 
was not at all inclined to remain in the province and dis- 
charge his duties there. His interest in Virginia seems to 
have been limited chiefly to securing a favorable settlement 
of his claims. But his commission and instructions were 
prepared with care, being modelled in part after those of the 
governor^ of Jamaica, and were more elaborate than any 
which had previously been issued to a governor of a conti- 
nental colony. The issue of these instructions, followed as 
they soon were by those of Lord Howard of Efl&ngham in 
Virginia and Governor Dongan in New York, marks the 
time when the form used by British officials for this purpose 
in the royal provinces became fixed as it was to remain for 
the century to come. Like the pretorian edict of Rome, the 
commissions and instructions of the governors of the British 
provinces henceforth conform to one model or type, and 
differ from it only in special details. In this, as in so many 
other respects, uniformity was taking the place of the variety 
which had existed among the chartered colonies. Another 

^ Colonial Papers, August 2, December 11, 1677. 
3 Ibid. December 4 and 6, 1677. 
* Ibid. December 21, 167S. 


stage was thus reached in the process by which Virginia fully CHAP, 
assumed its place within the group of royal provinces. \wi5l^ 

Considerable attention was paid by the lords of trade to 
the selection of Culpeper's council, and their names were 
inserted in his instructions.^ He was ordered not to appoint 
to office any who had belonged to the Bacon faction without 
good reason. Vacancies in the council should be filled with 
men of ^^ estates and abilities," and their names should be 
sent to England for confirmation. All colonists should be 
required to take the oath of allegiance. No officials should 
be removed without good cause. With the advice of the 
council, fees should be regulated and fixed at moderate rates. 
Land which had lain seven years unimproved should be 
granted to new patentees, and no more* should be granted 
than would probably be improved. Quit rents should be col- 
lected from the time of the grant, instead of seven years 
later, and should be used for the building of a fort and the 
support of the colony government in general. The building 
of towns should be encouraged, and colonists obliged to 
settle there if possible. A more equitable form of tax than 
the capitation should, if possible, be found; while all revenue 
acts should mention the king and all writs should run in his 
name. Indian affairs should be carefully regulated. No 
minister should be appointed without a certificate from the 
bishop of London, and adequate provision should be made 
for their support. The governor should see to it that the 
burgesses were chosen exclusively by freeholders. The gov- 
ernment in this connection introduced a requirement which 
was very characteristic of tendencies operative at that time, 
but one that was destined to be short-lived. It involved an 
application of the principle of the Poynings act to a colony 
by requiring that no assembly should be called without pre- 
vious order from the king, and that all bills which it might be 
found desirable to pass should first be sent to the king, that 
they might be returned in approved form. Three bills had 
already been prepared, which were given to Culpeper, and 
he was ordered, as soon as possible after his arrival to call 

^ Colonial Entry Book, Vol. LXXX ; Colonial Papers, March 14, 1670. 


PART an assembly and have them passed. One of these was in- 
^^' ^ tended to secure indemnity and oblivion for acts done during 
the rebellion, another was a revenue bill, and a third was 
intended to grant the governor power to naturalize aliens. 
Culpeper was also instructed to reprove the assembly for its 
attitude on the question of granting commissioners access to 
its records. Robert Beverley and Edward Hill should be 
removed from all places of trust and not readmitted till the 
king's pleasure should be further known. Finally, he was re- 
quired to report the manner in which he executed each several 
instruction. At the beginning of 1680 circular letters were 
sent to the governors and secretaries of Virginia, Barbadoes, 
Leeward islands, and Jamaica, ordering them to send regu- 
larly to England copies of their journals and all important 
papers which came before them, with accounts of debates and 
other events, those affecting trade being specially mentioned.^ 

Owing to the Popish Plot and various other causes, the 
departure of Culpeper for Virginia was delayed till almost 
the close ^ of 1679, and at his final going he was threatened 
with the high displeasure of the king at his neglect of duty, 
to be shown by the possible appointment of another to his 
place. But the courtier-governor carried with him a letter 
from the king granting him full permission to return as soon 
as in his discretion the state of affairs in Virginia should 
seem to permit, during which visit to England he should not 
only report on Virginia but attend to his own long neglected 

At the beginning of May, 1680, Culpeper arrived in Vir- 
ginia. In June he called the assembly together and laid 
before it the bills which he had brought over, but he re- 
frained from administering the reproof concerning the rec- 
ords. Robert Beverley also retained his position as clerk of 
the assembly. Two of the bills which the governor sub- 
mitted were passed without change, while to the revenue * 

^ Colonial Papers, January 14, 1680. 

* The preparations for his departure may be traced in the Colonial Papers 
between the summer of 1677 and the close of 1679. 

■ Ibid. September 10, December 3, December 17, 1679. 

* Ibid. May 2, with various entries during June and July, 1680. The 
journal of the burgesses is briefly outlined in the Calendar. 


act a proviso or two for the repeal of previous acts was added. CHAP. 
After the close of the session the governor by proclamation ^^ 
declared the repeal of six of the laws which had been passed 
by the assembly of February, 1677, among them both the act 
of pardon and that of attainder.^ The object of this was to 
restore, as far as possible, the conditions as to pardon which 
had been laid down in the royal proclamation of October 27, 
1676, which, with some additions to the list of excepted par- 
ties, had just been enacted into law by Culpeper's assembly. 
This assembly also passed an elaborate, but futile,^ act to 
encourage the building of towns and another for the mainte- 
nance of forts and garrisons on the principal rivers. 

This work completed, before the end of August Cul- 
peper started, via Boston, for England. At the same 
time a petition from the assembly was sent to the home 
government, asking that some means might be taken for 
reducing and permanently limiting the stock of tobacco. 
This was accompanied with the oft-repeated representations 
concerning the low price of the staple and the consequent 
discouragement which prevailed in the province.' When 
the petition was laid before the commissioners of the cus- 
toms, they thought, as always, of the revenue (averaging 
£100,000 per year) which tobacco yielded to the British 
exchequer ; they reflected also on the loss to shipping which 
would result from a cessation, and on the possibility that 
the Dutch, French, or Spaniards would thereby be encour- 
aged to increase their output; they were also inclined to 
discount the cry, so often raised, that tobacco was unsala- 
ble, while they professed to hope for some beneficial change 
from the building of so many new towns. The result was 
that the plan of a cessation received no support from the 
English authorities, and before many months had passed 
serious consequences followed from this in Virginia. 

1 Colonial Fftpen, July 8, 16S0 ; Hening, 11. 366 «t aeq. 

s On the alleged effect of this act in promoting the iU feeling which found 
ezpnflBlon in the riots of 1681, see a report of the Council of Virginia, 
Hening, IL 661. 

• Colonial Papers, July 9, August 90, December 13, 1680, and January 10, 


After he left the province, Culpeper, in a letter to Coun- 
cillor Bacon, signified his desire that the assembly should 
be prorogued to meet in April, 1681. But later an order 
was issued by the king that it should not meet until the 
following November, it being expected that by that time 
Culpeper would have returned to Virginia. A proviso, 
however, was introduced into the order to the effect that, 
if it became necessary in the interval to call the assembly 
together, it should be done only with the consent of seven 
of the council.^ Unfortunately the royal command did not 
reach Lieutenant Governor Chicheley till after the evil 
had been done. On the strength of the letter which Cul- 
peper had sent to Councillor Bacon, and without consult- 
ing the council, Chicheley permitted the assembly to meet 
on the 18th of April.^ By that time the royal order that 
there should be a further prorogation had arrived and was 
communicated to the assembly. With it came also a com- 
mand, issued contrary to the advice of the lords of trade 
and the testimony of all whom they heard on Virginia 
affairs, that the arrears due the two independent companies 
should be paid and they disbanded unless the province 
was ready to bear the cost of their maintenance.' 

As the members had come together, the council advised 
that they be kept long enough to decide what course should 
be taken in regard to the soldiers. Therefore the two royal 
orders were laid before the burgesses and their reply was 
awaited. But the influence of Beverley was as great as 
ever, and the minds of the members were filled with the futile 
idea of cessation. They gave no indication of agreement 
with the governor and council, and after several secret 
sessions, during which they were thought to be preparing a 
tobacco act, the lieutenant governor prorogued them till 
November. Within a week thereafter rioters gathered, and 
the destruction of tobacco plants began in Gloucester 
county. It rapidly extended to New Kent and other 

1 Colonial Papers, 1681-1685, 136, 174, 185, 244, 245. 

2 See outlines of the Minutes of the Council, Colonial Papers, ibid, 221, 
226, 227. 

• Ibid. 130, 134, 136, 142, 143, 171, 174. 


counties.^ Proclamations were issued, the militia called out, CHAP 
patrols organized; but thousands of plants were destroyed by ^ ^^' 
the rioters. The disturbances were continued through May, 
and did not entirely cease till August. Among the many 
who were arrested was Beverley himself. 

Information that trouble was likely to follow reached the 
lords of trade before the middle of June,^ and Lord Culpeper 
was hurried oS on his second voyage to Virginia. He was 
furnished with a revised set of instructions,' by which he was 
required to insist again on the repeal of the obnoxious resolu- 
tion of 1677 and on the passage of an act declaring the right 
of the king to command the records of the assembly; he 
should recommend the addition to the fiscal system of the 
province of an import duty on liquors, and should settle a 
more certain and reasonable tax on tobacco; that he should 
reduce the salaries of burgesses; that laws for permanent 
objects should be made indefinite in duration; that appeals 
to the king in council should be allowed in suits involving 
JCIOO and over. The possibility, with the consent of the 
council, for a restraint on the planting of tobacco was also 

When Culpeper arrived, the session of the assembly for 
November, 1682, was near its close. He at once removed Bev- 
erley from his offices and brought four persons who had been 
concerned in the riots of May to trial on the charge of trea- 
son.^ Three were found guilty and of these two were executed. 
As the offenders generally were not conscious of treasonable 
intent, the reprisals were not carried further. Indeed, Chiche- 
ley had already issued a general pardon, and Culpeper consid- 
ered that the offences in no case really involved treason.^ The 

1 Ibid. 226, 228, 232, 237, 241, 275. « Ibid. 260, 260, 267, 276. 

* Ibid. 188, 496 ; Va. Ma^. of HiBt. HI. 226 et seq. 

* The act 80 Elizabeth against breaking down enclosures was used for 
the parpoee. A considerable collection of documents in reference to Bey- 
erley is printed by Hening, App. to Vol. III. 

* Against Beverley himself Culpeper could find proof of nothing worse than 
" rudeneose and saucynesse and an Indeavor to compasse his ends by pre- 
vailing on the easynesse of an enclining Oovemour, and causing S' Henry 
Chicheley to stoppe shipps.'* Va. Mag. of Hist. III. 230. For the final dis- 
position of the case agaLost Beverley see Colonial Papers, May 9, 1684. 


acts of the assembly Culpeper passed, though he did not ap- 
prove them, preferring that the odium of their veto should 
rest on the authorities in England. Of his instructions which 
called for legislation he made no attempt to enforce any, for 
the session was too near its close. In general he interpreted his 
instructions as freely as possible, in the interest of the peace 
of the province and his own quiet. In May, 1683, after ap- 
pointing Nicholas Spencer president of the council and leav- 
ing the government in the hands of that body, Culpeper 
started again for England. On his arrival a second report 
was duly submitted, but his lordship's indifference towards 
his office and the province was now too apparent to be 
longer ignored, and Francis, Lord Howard of Effingham was 
appointed as his successor. 

In religion he was a Catholic, and thus was ready to fall 
in with the declaration of indulgence when it was issued. 
But his religion does not seem to have affected the discharge 
of his official duties more than did that of Governor Dongan 
of New York. In fact, as we have seen, the two were hon- 
orably associated in the effort to develop joint action on the 
part of the colonies in Indian affairs. Lord Howard made 
it a condition of his accepting the appointment, that he 
should be permitted to spend the hot seasons in the north; 
and his visits to New York were well utilized in the way 
just indicated. In Virginia itself he faithfully reflected the 
autocratic tendencies of the time, upholding on all occasions 
the crown and the colonial executive and becoming involved, 
as a result, in frequent controversies with the burgesses. 

Though the majority of the council acted in general agree- 
ment with the governor, the burgesses showed a considerable 
vigor and independence. It was at this time that the sepa- 
ration between the two houses became complete. This was 
apparently effected by the abandonment, at the instance of 
the governor, of the custom of appointing committees of the 
council to meet with the burgesses. Henceforth only com- 
mittees of conference were appointed. In the session of 
1684 the burgesses demanded an accounting in the case of 
the export duty of 2s. per hogshead on tobacco. The gov- 
ernor told them that the tax was in arrears, but that the 


accounting was a matter for the lords of the treasury to CHAP, 
attend to. But he gave them the good advice to lay a 
duty on imported liquors, which they did by the passage 
of a temporary act, that was later reenacted, to the evident 
relief of the tithables throughout the province. The desira- 
bility of building a residence for the governor was generally 
admitted, but the funds were not easy to be found; and the 
discussion later drifted off to the idea of erecting a province 
house instead, where the court and assembly might sit, but 
this also finally ended in nothing. In accordance with his 
instruction, the governor firmly insisted that fines and for- 
feitures should go to the king, and not into the treasury to 
be used for the purpose of meeting the expenses of the prov- 
ince. At the close of the session the governor refused 
to join with the burgesses in an address to the king on the 
subject of appeals. The burgesses then sent it separately, 
and although, because of certain improper expressions which 
it contained, it did not actually reach the king, it doubtless 
helped to establish the rule that £300 should be the minimum 
limit above which civil suits became appealable to the king 
in council.^ 

In the autumn of 1685 a long session was held, in which 
the burgesses came to an issue with the governor on several 
questions. Beverley had to an extent regained power, and 
was again elected clerk of the assembly. The most impor- 
tant controversy arose in connection with the passage of a 
new bill designating ports and wharves. This passed through 
the ordinary course of legislation, being amended by the 
council and the amendments agreed to by the burgesses, 
and the whole ordered to be signed by the clerk of the 
council and engrossed. But on perusing the bill before it 
was finally to be read, the governor found that no provision 
had been made for fees for the collectors of dues at the 
ports. He insisted that a clause providing for this should 
be inserted; the burgesses refused assent on the ground that 
the bill was already passed and a law. Lord Howard in- 
sisted that it was not a law till publicly signed by himself. 

1 Colonial Papers, ie81-16S6, 619-640, 747 ; Hening, HI. et seq. 


He also claimed that after bills had been assented to by him- 
self and the council, through the negative voice or veto 
power which he had from the king he could refuse to sign 
them if he found them objectionable. He sent the burgesses 
the clause in his instructions which bore on this matter and 
offered to lay the bill aside till the pleasure of the king could 
be known. But to all this the burgesses refused their as- 
sent. They declared that the veto power of the governor 
must be exercised, if at all, by his action in the council. 
The fact seems to be that usage varied, conforming in some 
cases and in some provinces to the custom insisted upon by 
the governor, and in others to that which was urged by the 
assembly. The occasion of the difficulty lay in the fact that 
the governor held a seat in the council when it was eng^ed 
in legislative business. That point, however, does not seem 
to have been raised on this occasion. When the case was 
reported to the home government, it supported the governor, 
and at his suggestion it ordered that the clerk of the bur- 
gesses should thereafter be appointed by the executive of 
the province. As Beverley was suspected to have been 
responsible for the omission of the clause, he was declared 
incapable of holding any public office and threatened with 
prosecution for defacing the records.^ In view of the fact 
that the burgesses had some show of right for their conten- 
tion, both of these penalties must be regarded as unduly 
severe and arbitrary. 

In order to relieve the province from the expense of fre- 
quent sessions, of which there had been so much complaint 
at the time of Bacon's rebellion, the governor asked that 
authority be given him and the council to impose a levy to 
meet incidental charges; but the concession was refused. 
He told the burgesses that he was raising twenty-four men 
for defence, and asked them to raise as many men at the ex- 
pense of the colony ; but this also on the plea of poverty they 
refused. On the strength of the treaty which the governor 
had concluded at Albany, they even went so far as to repeal 

1 Colonial Papers, 1686-1688, 116-126, 150, 184, 224. Hening, HI. 40, 
650. A manuscript copy of the journal of this assembly is among the papers 
of the Ya. Hist. Soc. 


the militia act of the previous session and to remove the horse- CHAP, 
men who had been stationed near the heads of the rivers.^ ,, * ^ 
He also brought forward his instruction that quit rents be 
paid in sterling and that the law making them payable in 
tobacco be repealed; to this an emphatic negative was 
returned. The burgesses objected to a fee which had re- 
cently been imposed for attesting public documents and 
affixing the seal to them, a duty which was connected with 
the governor's power as chancellor. Claims from the coun* 
ties and from individuals against the treasury were also 
scanned with attention by the burgesses, though not till 
1691 was the control of the assembly over expenditures con- 
firmed by their securing the right of electing the province 

The instructions of the king in reference to this assembly 
had closed with the command that it should be dissolved. 
But before this reached Lord Howard he had called it to- 
gether again — in October, 1686 — and its session* was well 
advanced. Though at the outset the governor expressed 
the hope that they might have a short and happy session, 
the assembly revived the questions that were formerly at 
issue and wholly failed to confine themselves to the measures 
which he initiated. The question of the governor's seat in 
the council as bearing on his exercise of the veto power was 
mooted. Objection was made to the fixing of attorneys' 
fees by proclamation. Notwithstanding the king's procla- 
mation, they continued to object to the payment of quit rents 
in money. Protest was still made against the levy of the 
new fees for the passing of instruments under the province 
seal, because it had not been approved by the assembly. 
Against giving the governor and council authority to impose 
levies during recesses of the assembly they were as firmly 
opposed as ever. Neither could they and the governor agree 
upon the terms of a militia bill. Over a bill prohibiting the 
planting of tobacco after the last day of June in every year, in 
the hope thereby to check its excessive production, we are 
told that the governor hesitated long ; but he passed it and 

1 Hening, HI. 38. * Ibid, UI. 02. 

• Colonial Papers, 1086-1688, 260, 271, 279, 281, 818, 810, 891. 

TOL. Ul — X 


FART it became law. At the close of a session which was distin* 
^^* guished by persistent criticism of the executive and its 
claims, the governor announced to the assembly that it was 
dissolved by express order of the king, a circumstance which 
he hoped would not soon be repeated. 

The newly elected assembly, which met in May, 1688, 
proved no more tractable than its predecessor.^ The im- 
mediate object of the governor in calling this session was to 
procure the passage of an act against the export of tobacco 
in bulk, and the repeal of the act of 1686 which prohibited 
the planting of tobacco after the close of June. A revised 
copy of the laws was also submitted to the burgesses for 
their consideration. But, wrote Secretary Spencer, after the 
session, '^ this most necessary work was not considered, for 
debates of grievances jostled out all matters of importance." 
The governor, in the hope of allaying hate, tried to bring 
about a conference with the council ; but the burgesses pre- 
sented in reply to this a sharp arraignment of the govern- 
ment and would not consent to a conference unless it was 
devoted to the discussion of grievances. The project was 
dropped. The complaints were the same in substance as 
those which had agitated the previous assemblies, though 
they were increased by the appearance of a new fee for the 
escheators and apparently by the fact that an act concerning 
attorneys, passed as far back as 1682, had recently been re- 
pealed by royal proclamation. The effect of this on the 
status of colonial laws in general was brought into discussion, 
and questions which had agitated Maryland and were to dis- 
turb other provinces were raised thereby. The demand was 
again made that fines and forfeitures should go toward the 
general expenditures of the province. 

An explanation of the determined attitude of the assembly 
is found not only in the strides which the executive was 
making through the extension of fees and the issue of proc- 
lamations, enlarging its functions and employing the dis- 
pensing power as in England, but in the number of what 
were believed to be arbitrary removals from office which 
were resorted to as punishments of political opposition. 

1 Ibid. 639, 544, 648. 


During or after the session of 1686 the governor removed chap. 
Philip Ludwell from his seat in the council and from a col- ^^' 
lectorship, because he believed him to be fomenting disputes 
in the assembly ^ and because of the evidence which he found 
of an active alliance between him and Beverley. Ludwell 
had also favored the '^ undutiful " address which was sent to 
the king in 1684. Ludwell is also authority for the state- 
ment that several members of the assembly, naming William 
Sherwood, Thomas Milner, Arthur Allen, John Smith, 
William Anderson, and Charles Scarborough, had been 
suspended from their offices because they were concerned in 
legitimate political opposition. One of their number, An- 
derson, he declared, had been committed to jail for months 
without trial or habeas corpus. In general no reasons had 
been given for these suspensions, and the accused had been 
given no opportunity for defence. The king's declaration 
of indulgence had also been proclaimed and certain papists 
appointed to office. 

These and other charges Ludwell carried to England and 
submitted to the king in council in the fall of 1689. Lord 
Howard in the meantime had returned to England,^ and 
during the hearings on the case submitted a reply to the 
charges. He stated that Anderison had been imprisoned be- 
cause he had incited the people to mutiny and had refused to 
give security for good behavior. Smith and Allen had been 
displaced, not because of their doings in assembly, but be- 
cause as justices they had openly opposed the appointment 
of sherifiFs by the governor and had insisted that the matter 
should be settled according to a law which had long before 
been repealed. The other cases he traversed by the general 
statement that, when reorganizing the militia, he had dis- 
placed a few and appointed others in their room. The cases 
of Ludwell himself and of others he had fully reported to 
the king. As to his dispensing with the oath of supremacy 
and his appointment of papists to office, he could appeal 
to the instructions of the king. The reply of Lord Howard 

1 Ibid, 320 ; Col. Papers, 1680-1602, 147, 140, 161, 158, 160, 183, 222. 
* He returned on leave in the fall of 1688. 


PART was accepted by the government as sufficient for its purpose, 
^^ J for in November, 1690, though he was a Catholic and a con- 

fessed place-hunter, a new commission was issued to him as 
governor, with a sinecure and half the salary ; while Francis 
Nicholson was appointed as his lieutenant and sent over to 
actively perform the duties of the office. 



Fob some years after the return of the royal commissioners CHAP, 
and the fall of the Clarendon ministry, there was a lull in the ^* 
controversy between Massachusetts and the crown. By 
occasional petitions, however, the Mason and Gorges heirs 
kept their case before the English government. In 1670 
and 1671 Gorges petitioned twice and Mason once.^ Both 
of Gorges' petitions led to special inquiry. On the first 
occasion the council for foreign plantations reported that 
Gorges had proved his allegations "in every point." In 
• 1671 and 1672 the board devoted much attention to New 
England affairs, examining the papers of the commissioners 
of 1664 and hearing Cartwright himself. They reported in 
favor of sending another commission to New England, Lord 
Arlington actively supporting the proposal; and in April 
and May, 1672, the king almost reached the point of naming 
the commissioners. But further steps were prevented by 
the outbreak of the third war with Holland and the fall of 
the Cabal ministry which was connected with that event.^ 

During the Dutch war the efforts of the petitioners were 
suspended, but as soon as it closed they were resumed. In 
the spring of 1675, both Mason and Gorges were repeatedly 
before the committee for trade and plantations, and, with a 
view to the appointment of a general governor for New 
England, they offered to resign their patents and take others 
with less privilege. This, of course, would have been a 
possible result only in the case of Gorges. A long paper 
was presented by Mason in which a possible program for 
another royal commission was fully discussed. After this 
had been heard the committee referred the question of title 
to the law officers of the crown for report, and the question 

1 Colonial Papers, 1660-1674, 64, 171 ; Evelyn, Diary, n.M2. 
* Colonial Papers, ibid. 208, 232, 244. 



FART of the customs in New England to the commissioners of the 
customs.^ The reports of both were unfavorable to Massa- 
chusetts, that of the law officers being to the effect that the 
titles of Mason and Gorges were good. 

The complaints of merchants * and the report of the com- 
missioners of the customs directed attention closely to the 
independent course which Massachusetts was still pursuing 
in the matter of trade. In Massachusetts itself the commer- 
cial spirit was steadily growing, and with it went a decline 
in religious fervor. The growth of sentiment in favor of the 
so-called halfway covenant was one of the phases of this 
development. The division of which these were symptoms 
did not at this time seriously affect the deputies, because the 
great majority of the members of that house came from 
the small towns of the interior. On the other hand, the 
homes of a large proportion of the magistrates were in the 
coast towns, and they felt the influence of the dawning 
secular spirit. Occasional journeys and periods of residence 
in England broadened their views and gave rise to interests 
which were less exalted and more worldly than those of 
their fathers had been. For this reason waverers like Brad- 
street, Stoughton, and Dudley continued to exert a growing 
influence among the magistrates. • They helped to keep the 
colony quiet, and to prevent any attempt at revolt.^ 

Among the councillors of the king the idea of sending 
another commission to New England seems to have been 
uppermost until near the close of 1675. On December 2, 
after considerable delay, due apparently to negotiations with 
Spain over damages for the seizure of two ships and with 
France over relations at Saint Christophers, the committee 
of trade told Mason that, if he would state his case, they 
would submit it to the king and advise that Massachusetts be 

1 Colonial Papers, 1675-1676, 200, 211, 223, 231, 235 ; Jenness, Tran- 
scripts of New Hampshire Documents, 54 ; Evelyn, II. 346. 

^ See a remarkably virulent paper by one Captain Wybome, which was 
submitted by Mason and read at the committee of trade, December 2, 1675. 
Colonial Papers, 1675-1676, 306-308. 

* For quotations indicating the extent to which individuals, during the 
decade aft^r the Restoration, felt that a revolt in New England might be 
possible, see Toppan, Randolph, I. 41. 


required to send agents. To the plan of another royal com- CHAP, 
mission they expressed themselves as opposed, because of its ^' 
expense, the uncertainty of its success, and the danger that 
it would cause affront on the ground that it would seem like 
awarding execution on the New England people before they 
were heard. During the week of December 20, the petitions 
and the report to the king were prepared, as well as a general 
circular letter on the subject of the acts of trade.^ Addi- 
tional information concerning the attitude of Massachusetts 
toward the acts of trade, which was given by the merchants 
early in the following year,^ fixed the determination of the 
board and privy council to act. It was resolved to send the 
summons, not, however, merely in written form, as hitherto, 
but to transmit it through the hands of an agent specially 
appointed and despatched for the purpose. Edward Ran- 
dolph, with whose subsequent career as a customs official in 
New England we are already familiar, was selected for this 
duty; and thus began a connection with the colonies which 
was to last during the remainder of his life. 

The undoubted purpose of the government in adopting 
this measure was to reopen the entire question of the rela- 
tions between itself and Massachusetts. Its real desire was 
that the agents who might be sent to England should be 
g^ven full authority to discuss all the questions at issue and 
receive the will of the king concerning them. But the 
most tangible among these questions was the boundary dis- 
pute with Mason and Gorges. It was the question on 
which an appeal would most naturally be taken. For this 
reason, among others, the English officials, who for some time 
had been in doubt respecting the best way in which to ap- 
proach Massachusetts, decided that it should be brought 
prominently to the front. In the letter from the king to 
the colony, which Randolph was to deliver to the governor 
and council^ at Boston, no reference was made to any other 
question save that of the northern boundary. Upon this 
subject precise language was used. "Therefore," ran the 
letter, " Wee doe, by the advice of our said Council, hereby 

^ Colonial Papers, 1676-1676, 808, 819, 822 ; Toppan, I. 45 n. 

s Col. Papen» 1676-1676, 841, 847, 850, 861. • Toppan, IL 192. 


FART command that you send over agents to appear before Us, 
^^' in six months after your Receipt of these Our Letters, who, 
being fully Instructed, and sufficiently Informed to answer 
for you, may receive Our Royal Determination in this matter 
depending for Judgment before Us." Copies of the peti- 
tions which Gorges and Mason had presented to the king 
were enclosed with the royal missive, and the intention was 
expressed that a decision should not be reached until both 
sides had been fully heard. From this language Massachu- 
setts would be justified in inferring that she was summoned 
to answer the complaint of Gorges and Mason and that 
alone. But in the background was the consciousness of her 
whole past history, of the complaints which had been made to 
the Restoration government, of the contents of the king's 
letters, and of the doings of the royal commission. 

Randolph arrived at Boston in June, 1676, when the war 
with Philip was approaching its later stages. The letter 
which he brought from the king required that the agents 
should be sent within six months after the receipt of the 
missive itself. Since Randolph had been commissioned to 
bring back to the king the answer of the Massachusetts gov- 
ernment and a report of its proceedings, the request was made 
that the letter should be read in open and full council and 
that Randolph might be present at the time. In addition 
to delivering the letter and receiving the reply, Randolph 
was instructed to remain a month in New England and 
inform himself, so far as possible, concerning the laws, 
churches, means of defence, boundaries, taxes and revenue, 
trade, and manufactures of those colonies. He was also to 
inquire respecting their relations with one another and their 
attitude toward the home government. Upon these matters 
he was to present a report ^ to the king. To aid in his in- 
quiries Randolph was given certain rough estimates bearing 
on the topography, resources, and life of New England. 
This clearly indicates that the crown contemplated some- 
thing far wider in its bearing than the adjustment of the 
claims of Mason and Gorges. Randolph was a professional 
lawyer. He had acted on one or two occasions as an agent 

1 Toppan, n. 192-201 ; Ck>lonial Papers, 1675-1676, 868, 861, 862. 


in purchasing timber for the royal navy. What other posts CHAP, 
he had held the scanty information at our command con- ^* 
ceming his earlier life makes it impossible to state. But he 
had become acquainted with a number of men who were 
prominent in public life, and to them he seemed well quali- 
fied for the mission on which he was sent. But of special 
value to Randolph was his connection with Sir Robert South- 
well, Robert Tufton Mason, and Sir Robert Sawyer. The 
first of these, in or about 1675, succeeded John Locke as sec- 
retary to the committee of trade and plantations ; while to 
the second, with whom Randolph was remotely connected by 
marriage, he owed in part his earlier advancement. Later 
Sir Robert Sawyer, as attorney general, was a principal 
instrument in executing the plans which Randolph formed 
against Massachusetts. All were typical lawyers and 
officials of the period of the later Stuarts. Mason's in* 
fluence doubtless contributed strongly toward procuring 
for Randolph the agency to New England. He brought 
letters from Mason to friends in the colonies. The Massa- 
chusetts authorities at once spoke of him contemptuously 
as Mason's agent. In this designation there was an element 
of truth, and the opinion from which it sprang was to an 
extent confirmed by the partisan attitude which Randolph 
presently assumed toward the colony which he was appointed 
to visit. He became the mouthpiece of all the enemies of 
Massachusetts, both in the colony and in England. During 
the month of his sojourn in the country he was busy col- 
lecting information, but it mainly came from the friends of 
Mason, and some of it was modified by Randolph's own 
partisan feelings. 

But the statement that Randolph was Mason's agent con* 
tained only a fraction of the truth. It is true that in this, as in 
all cases of governmental action, private interests bore a share. 
Mason and Gorges were seeking their rights through an appeal 
to the crown. But the more important fact in the case was this, 
that the crown was using the appeal of Mason and Gorges as 
a means by which to lead or force the colonies of New Eng- 
land into closer relations with itself. Since the time of their 
settlement they had existed under a system of separatism 


PART and of de facto self government which was inconsistent with 
^^' the main trend of events subsequent to the Restoration. Had 
they been colonies of the Greek city type, they could hardly 
have been more self-centred or independent of the metrop- 
olis. But in reality the British colonial system, like that of 
all other modern nations, was Roman and feudal, that is pro- 
vincial, in character, and with the Restoration the forces 
which were moulding it after this model came permanently 
into operation. They came necessarily and at once into con- 
flict with the democratic and separatist tendencies which 
were inherent in colonial life. The central thread of our 
colonial history is to be found in the record of that conflict. 
It did not occasion a resort to arms until the final stage was 
reached. But it was none the less a struggle, fought out in 
office, council house, and leg^lature; through orders, instruc- 
tions, correspondence, and legal opinions; through speeches 
of governors and addresses of legislatures; by appointments, 
removals, appropriations, and the withholding of appropria- 
tions; by conferences and dissolutions and new elections, — 
in short, through all the twists and turns of executive and 
legislative action, prolonged through a century and repeated 
in nearly twenty distinct jurisdictions. 

The story of Randolph's reception by Governor Leverett 
and the council is too familiar to need extended repetition here. 
Randolph has given two versions of it, which in substance 
agree. ^ The governor treated him throughout with haugh- 
tiness and contempt. Some of the assistants maintained a 
similar attitude. Those who were so inclined kept on their 
hats while the king's letter was being read. At the close of 
the reading the governor told the council that the matters 
contained in the letters were inconsiderable, easily answered, 
and needed no special notice. But in fact they contained 
the most weighty summons which Massachusetts had ever 
received, and Randolph told the governor that he was com- 
manded to require an answer. On his second audience, Ran- 

^Toppan, II. 203, 216. The one is Randolph's letter to Secretary 
Coventry, written immediately after the event. The other is his ** Short 
Narrative touching the delivery of your Majesties letters . . .,** written 
somewhat later. 


dolph*s pride was wounded, not only by being told that he CHAP 
was Mason's agent, but by being informed that the reply to 
the king's missive would be sent home by some other convey- 
ance and he would receive only a duplicate. Upon this latter 
point some sharp correspondence passed between Randolph 
and the governor and Secretary Rawson. After that it was 
no longer possible that a friendly feeling should ever exist 
between the parties concerned. Randolph's inquiries brought 
to his notice* the fact that within a few days subsequent to 
his arrival two vessels with cargoes of liquors had arrived 
at Boston direct from France, and three from the Canary 
islands. Reports of other similar arrivals at earlier dates also 
came to his ears, while he knew not as yet how many vessels 
from foreign ports had landed at Piscataqua and in the other 
harbors of Massachusetts. When next he had a private in- 
terview with the governor, Randolph called his attention to 
these violations of the acts of trade. This drew from Lever- 
ett a declaration that ^^ the lawes made by your Majestie and 
your parliament obligeth them in nothing but what consists 
with the interests of that colony; that the legislative power 
is and abides in them solely to act and make laws by virtue 
of a charter from your Majesties royall father, and that all 
matters in difference are to be concluded by their finall deter- 
minations without any appeal . . . " ^ There is no reason to 
doubt the possibility that such a statement as this was made, 
for in substance it was consistent with the entire course of 
the colony's history and with more than one authoritative 
utterance of its magistrates and clergy. 

The last interview which Randolph had with Governor 
Leverett, just before he sailed for England, revealed again 
the rooted antipathy of the men. During the past three 
weeks Randolph had been visiting the settlements on the 
Piscataqua. There, as elsewhere, he had met the supporters 
of Mason and had heard their complaints. While at Ports- 
mouth, settlers from Maine had visited him and told him the 
game tale. Religious and political privileges, they are re- 
ported to have said, were denied them, and they were threat- 
ened with destruction by the Indians. All besought him to 
^ Toppan, IL 210 ; Hatchinson Papers, IL 243. 


PART lay their condition before the king. If we are to trust 
Randolph's statements, a similar cry was what he chiefly 
heard in Boston; while Governor Josiah Winslow of Ply- 
mouth is said to have expressed great dislike of the attitude 
of Massachusetts toward its neighbors, toward the king 
and the acts of trade. Leverett at their last interview called 
Randolph sharply to task for publishing his errand in the 
eastern parts, and thus provoking a disturbance and at- 
tempting to withdraw the people from their lawful obedience. 
Randolph was safe in replying that, if he had done anything 
amiss, the magistrates could doubtless obtain justice by 
appealing to the king. 

In obedience to his instructions Randolph, on his return 
to England, presented a long report ^ on Massachusetts, the 
fullest which the home government had yet received con- 
cerning that colony. In this report the government of 
Massachusetts was described ; laws of the colony were cited 
which were alleged to be repugnant to those of England; 
it was stated that the oaths of allegiance and supremacy 
were not administered, while the oath of fidelity contained 
no recognition of the king ; the military strength of the 
colony was estimated ; reference was made to its extent and 
boundaries, to relations with the Indians and with neigh- 
boring colonies, to the products and the financial system 
of the colony, while he closed with a few observations on 
Plymouth and Connecticut. In this report, as was shown 
in a reply which was later made to it by the agents of 
Massachusetts in England,^ were many exaggerated and 
erroneous statements, but in most cases these related to 
details which had no direct bearing on the points at issue. 
Randolph's bias against Massachusetts was so strong that 
the historian need not be misled by it. He reflected what 
from the first had been the point of view of the Gorges- 
Mason group, intensifying it by his legal acumen and by the 
determination with which he fixed upon the acts of trade as 
furnishing ground for the establishment of permanent exec- 
utive control over Massachusetts. The departure of the 

1 Toppan, n. 226 ; Hutchinson Papers, n. 210. * Toppan, III. 7. 


New England colonies, and of Massachusetts in particular, CHAP, 
from the spirit and governmental forms which were favored ^' 
by English officials was so marked that there was little 
necessity for even Randolph to exaggerate them in order to 
produce an impression. The statements which he makes 
concerning the chief features of the situation are in general 
agreement with facts and confirmed from other sources. 

As soon as Randolph had sailed on his return voyage, a 
special session of the general court of Massachusetts was 
called. The clergy were consulted respecting the best way 
in which to make reply to the complaints of Mason and Gor- 
ges. Should it be through agents or by letter?* Their 
advice was that agents should be sent, but that they should 
be carefully instructed. William Stoughton and Peter 
Bulkely were appointed agents, and a committee with 
Simon Bradstreet at its head was appointed to prepare an 
address to the king. The address dwelt on the sufferings 
of the colony in the Indian war and on the arguments of the 
colony in support of its claims to territory north of the Mer- 
rimac river. It was accompanied with a full history of the 
origin of those claims and a statement of the benefits which, 
it was affirmed, had come to the inhabitants of that region 
by the assertion of the claims. 

To the agents, besides letters to the secretaries of state, 
two sets* of instructions were given. One was signed by 
the governor and commanded them to act only in matters 
which related to the claims of Gorges and Mason, and to 
plead lack of instructions on all other points. The other 
instructions required them in addition to seek aid from the 
Earl of Anglesey and other lords of the council in England 
who were friends of the colony, and, if they found that 
Mason and Gorges would sell their interests in New Eng- 
land, to buy them out. Thus, in harmony with the literal 
interpretation which Massachusetts placed upon the king's 
letter, the agents were to be her attorneys in the suit with 
Mason and Gorges. 

Stoughton and Bulkely arrived in England in January, 

Col. Bees. y. 90, 106. * Ibid. 113. 


1677. They very soon found that affairs of much wider 
scope than the claims of Mason and Gorges were under dis- 
cussion. Randolph was persistently urging upon the atten- 
tion of the privy council and the plantation committee the 
relations of Massachusetts to the crown and to England in 
all their phases. Moreover, information was sought from 
him, and attention was paid to his representations. 

On May 6 Randolph submitted a paper on the affairs of 
Massachusetts, which was referred to the privy council, came 
before the lords of trade and plantations, and with the peti- 
tions concerning trade was the subject of extended consid- 
eration.^ In this paper the right of Massachusetts to its 
charter, and consequently to land and government, was 
boldly challenged. Justification for this challenge was 
sought in statements some of which were gross exaggera- 
tions. It was declared that the inhabitants of Massachu- 
setts had formed themselves into a commonwealth, denied the 
right of appeal, and did not administer the oath of allegiance. 
They had protected the regicides, coined money, put subjects 
of the king to death for opinion in matters of religion. They 
had violently opposed the attempts of the royal commissioners 
to regulate the affairs of New Hampshire, and later by armed 
force had turned out his Majesty's justices of the peace in 
Maine. They imposed upon all inhabitants an oath of 
fidelity to their own government. Finally, by violating 
the acts of trade, they had monopolized the larger part of 
the West India traffic and occasioned a loss to the kingdom 
in customs duties of more than £100,000 a year. 

Randolph did not in the least shrink from the practical 
conclusion to which his charges led. Let Massachusetts, he 
said, be at once organized as a royal province, and let Sir 
John Berry, who was then in Virginia as royal commissioner, 
be sent thither with a military and naval force for the pur- 
pose. Liberty of conscience should be granted, and the 
inhabitants should be confirmed in the possession of their 
lands and houses on the payment of an easy quit rent. A 
general pardon should be granted for illegal acts in the past. 

1 Colonial Papers, 1677-1680, 79, 102, 103, 104 ; Toppan, XL 266-270. 


The persons in the colony who were most eminent for estates CHAP, 
and loyalty should be commissioned by the king as a council ^ 
for the government of the province. The general court, or 
a representative assembly in any form, should disappear. 
Those among the present magistrates who showed them- 
selves submissive should be pensioned and receive some title 
of honor. This was in substance the plan which was put 
into operation ten years later. Legal obstacles to its imme- 
diate execution presently appeared, but it ever remained as 
the object toward which the policy of many English officials 
and lawyers of the time was tending. 

When the lords of trade and plantations and the privy 
council came to consider Randolph's paper,^ they decided 
that certain parts of it should be laid before the judges for 
consideration and other parts before the privy council. Those 
parts which especially concerned the right of the colony to 
its charter were referred to the judges, together also with 
the Massachusetts book of laws. Other matters, bearing 
more closely on conduct under the charter, were referred to 
the privy council. The laws of Massachusetts were also laid 
before the attorney general and the solicitor general for their 
opinion concerning their agreement with the laws of England* 

Chief Justices Rainsford and North, the former of King's 
Bench and the latter of Common Pleas, promptly delivered 
the opinion which was requested, both concerning the validity 
of the Massachusetts charter and concerning the right of 
Massachusetts to New Hampshire and Maine.^ A hearing of 
all parties concerned who were in England had been held. 
The judges pronounced the royal charter of Massachusetts 
valid, inasmuch as by the indenture of 1628 to Roswell and his 
associates, the New England council was understood to have 
granted away all its interest in the lands of that region. 
Whereupon it was lawful for the king to establish a suitable 
frame of government, which was done by the charter of 4 
Charles I. The judges also made the remarkable declara- 
tion, that by their charter the patentees had been made a cor- 

1 Toppan, II. 270, 271 ; Colonial Papera, 1677-1680, 103. 
s Colonial Papers, 1677-1680, 102, 108, 104, 118 ; Palfrey, History of New 
England, III. 807. 


PART ppration upon the place. Thus the idea that the proceedings 
^^' of 1635 had dissolved the corporation was laid to rest and for 
practical purposes it was made clear that the legal residence 
of the Massachusetts company was in New England. The 
opinion on both these points vitally affected the progpram 
of Randolph. It interposed some serious legal obstacles 
in the way of its execution. 

The opinion of the justices concerning the claims of 
Mason and Gorges was equally illuminating. At the hear- 
ing the agents for Massachusetts, or their counsel, had 
disclaimed title to the land. Mason and Gorges were con- 
vinced by their counsel that they could not claim rights of 
grovernment under the grants from the New England council. 
The validity of Gorges' claim to rights of government 
under the royal charter of 1689 was, however, fully rec- 
ognized. Such a document the heirs of John Mason 
could not produce, the conclusion being that rights of 
government in New Hampshire were not vested in any one 
save the king. The sophistries of Massachusetts, so far as 
they affected the settlements on the Piscataqua and in 
Maine, were swept away by the declaration that its north 
and south bounds, as indicated in the language of its 
charter, must follow the course of the rivers, as far as 
the rivers went, and then be extended by imaginary lines 
to the South Sea. The effect of this opinion, if followed, 
was to transfer the boundary dispute from the coast to 
the region west of the upper course of the Merrimac river. 

Sir William Jones, the attorney general, in an opinion ^ 
delivered somewhat later, went more at length into rights 
to the soil within Mason's original grant between Salem and 
the Merrimac river. He showed that the early grants to 
Mason and Gorges, though under the seal of the New 
England council, had not been witnessed or recorded, that 
seizin had not been endorsed on them. Therefore, in his 
opinion, they would not avail against fifty years of undis- 
turbed possession under the Massachusetts law. In such 
cases, as suggested by the chief justices, the right to the 

1 HutchinsoD, History of Massachusetts, I. 200. 


soil was probably vested in the actual occupiers ; although CHAP, 
that was a question to be settled in detail by the courts 
on the place. But it may be said that Mason's lands 
north of the Merrimac were actually occupied by him and 
his agents before Massachusetts law was introduced. It 
is therefore clear, in the light of Jones's opinion, that 
Mason's territorial claims in New Hampshire were vaUd. 

The attorney general and solicitor general now reported 
on the laws of Massachusetts, which they found repugnant 
to those of England or of doubtful validity.^ Naturally 
they were ready to discard many or all of the laws which 
were derived from the Mosaic code. All expressions which 
referred to the colony as a commonwealth or to the general 
court as the chief civil power in the commonwealth, they 
would at once exclude. The failure to provide by law for 
the administration of the oath of allegiance to the inhabitants 
was a fatal defect, as was the introduction of clauses into of- 
ficial oaths which tended to limit the obligation of obedience 
to the king. The law providing for civil marriage, that which 
prohibited the celebration of Christmas, those which enforced 
a scrupulous observance of the Sabbath, were condemned. 
So was that by which the power to coin money was assumed. 
The fact was noted that Massachusetts had no law respecting 
high treason, and that military officers were not sworn to 
obey the king. The laws against heresy also came in for 
unfavorable comment, as did the acts by which import 
duties were laid, these being regarded as taxes on English 

In a series^ of papers which emanated from Randolph and 
Mason, the claim was still urged that the Massachusetts 
company was made a corporation resident in England; that 
it never had jura regalia^ and therefore could never legally 
inflict the death penalty or fulfil other higher functions of 
government. In other words, it was legally no more than 
any private corporation, or at most, any municipality in 
England. Furthermore, the claim was urged that, inasmuch 
as the New England council was in existence when the royal 

1 Colonial Papers, 1677-1680, 140. * Ibid. 126-133. 

VOL. Ill — T 


charter was granted to Massachusetts, rights of goyemment 
could not have been legally bestowed on the Massachusetts 
patentees. It was not admitted that the New England coun- 
cil had previously resigned its rights oyer the territory which 
was the subject of the Massachusetts grant. If it had not 
done so, and rights of government had been bestowed on the 
Massachusetts grantees, two patentees of the crovni would 
have held the right to goyern the same territory at the same 
time — a manifest absurdity. Moreover, the right of Massa- 
chusetts to the government could not have originated when 
the New England council resigned its charter. It was also 
claimed that the qiM warranto proceedings of 1635 had 
effectually dissolved the Massachusetts company. Though 
these yiews were not accepted by the English government, 
they raised questions which had alwajrs been of serious im- 
port, and involved the source of the opposition against which 
Massachusetts had always to contend. The men who raised 
these issues dealt with no ^^ inconsiderable things,'' and were 
more than the mere agents of a private land speculator. 

Immediately after the opinion of the chief justices had 
been read before the privy council, the agents from Massa- 
chusetts were called in.^ When questioned in reference to 
points other than Mason's claim, they plead lack of instruc- 
tions and said they could answer only as private men. Speak- 
ing in that capacity they briefly excused the conduct of the 
colony or defended it against the charges which had grown 
out of its alleged treatment of the royal commissioners, of 
the regicide judges, of the Quakers ; its use of the term 
commonwealth, its neglect of the oath of allegiance, its law 
against Christmas, its coining of money, levy of customs 
duties, and violations of the acts of trade. At subsequent 
hearings the continued grant of special privileges to church 
members in Massachusetts, after the passage of a law which 
implied the opposite, was condemned. The agents were told 
that the laws which were inconsistent with those of England 
must be repealed; that the acts of trade must be strictly 
enforced; that Massachusetts, as the condition of receiving 
a new patent, must beg pardon of the king for coining 

1 Colonial Papers, 1677-1680, 123 ; Toppan, H 274-284. 


money. She must also confine herself within the bounds CHAP, 
which had lately been specified by the judges, while the ^' 
rights both to soil and government in regions outside those 
bounds should be settled under special authority from the 
king. Touching the statements of the agents concerning 
defect of powers, they and their principals were informed 
that the king did not think of treating with his subjects 
as with foreigners, but that all things which were fit and 
consistent with his service should be done. The agents 
thus found themselves forced to answer and receive orders 
on a multitude of questions concerning which they had 
no instructions. Their sojourn in England was also in- 
definitely prolonged. About these difficulties they wrote to 

When the news reached the colony, the general court 
ordered the oath of fidelity to be taken by all who had 
not received it, and also that the acts of trade should be 
faithfully obeyed by all officers who were concerned.^ The 
court stated, with its usual self assurance, that it had thought 
Massachusetts was not bound by the acts because the laws 
of England did not extend beyond the four seas and the 
colony was not represented in parliament. Learning, how- 
ever, the desire of the king, it had ordered them enforced. 
Consent of the court to their enforcement was regarded as 
necessary, else liberty and property would be invaded. 

The policy of the general court in reference to the eastern 
settlements was indicated by the despatch of a petition that 
the four New Hampshire towns might remain under Massa- 
chusetts government, and by an instruction to the agents to 
buy out the claims of the Gorges heirs. This the agents 
soon did, much to the chagrin of the English authorities. 
The sum of £1250 was paid. An effort was also made to 
buy out Mason, but without result. 

After some further hearings before the lords of trade and 
plantations, in which nothing new was brought forward ex- 
cept an emphatic protest from Randolph against the religious 
test, there was a lull in proceedings until the spring of 1678. 
Then hearings before the committee of trade were renewed 

1 Mass. CoL Recs. V. 164-164, 103, 200 ; Palfrey, m. 811 n. 


PART and the law officers were asked to inspect the charter.^ The 
^^' report that the general court had again ordered the oath of 
fidelity to be taken drew from Randolph additional com- 
plaints.^ These led to the administration of the oath of 
allegiance to the agents in England. The law officers of 
the crown, Jones and Winnington, then reported' that the 
qtw warranto proceedings of 1685 had not dissolved the 
Massachusetts company, but the maladministration which 
had followed had been sufficient to justify the forfeiture of 
its charter. Based on this, a report to the king was pre- 
pared by the committee of trade and plantations in favor of 
the issue of a writ of quo warranto against the charter. 
They also recommended the appointment of Randolph as 
collector of customs at Boston, and soon after Randolph 
received the appointment.^ 

As the summer of 1678 passed by without decisive action 
on the part of Massachusetts, the lords of trade became con- 
vinced that a general governor must be appointed. The 
agents had meanwhile replied, so far as they were able, to the 
report which Randolph had first presented on New England 
affairs; also to a long petition and complaint from Randall 
Holden and John Greene of Warwick, Rhode Island. Con- 
sidering their business done, they begged to be permitted to 
return home, but were told that they must remain till a final 
resolution was reached.* They were kept in England until 
after the outbreak of excitement over the Popish Plot, when, 
in the fall of 1679, they were allowed to return. The general 
court had meanwhile ordered the administration of the oath 
of allegiance to all inhabitants of the colony who were sixteen 
years of age and over. The official use of the word " com- 
monwealth *' was discontinued, and a severe law of treason 
was passed, which provided that any one who should publish 
any design against the life or government of the king, whether 
by writing, preaching, or speaking, should be punished with 

1 Toppan, II. 277-284, 284-318. 

« Colonial Papers, 1677-1680, 247 ; Toppan, n. 316. 

• Palfrey, III. 314, from the Phillips Mss. 

• Colonial Papers, 1677-1680, 263 ; Toppan, IIL 2-6, 19. 

• Colonial Papers, 1677-1680, 261, 269, 276-280 ; Toppan, III. 7. 


death. Further than this the court showed no inclination of CHAP, 
going.i X. 

The agents, on their return, took with them a letter from 
the king, in which the court was commanded to send other 
duly instructed agents^ in six months after the receipt of 
the letter. Though a degree of satisfaction was expressed 
with the steps which Massachusetts had taken to conform 
with the desires of the home government, much more still 
remained to be done. By this letter the colony was required 
to admit to the suffrage all men who were ratable at 
10«.,' that the full number of eighteen assistants should 
be elected, that all commissions should be issued and all 
judicial proceedings conducted in the name of the king. 
Disapproval of the purchase of Maine was expressed, and 
Massachusetts was told to stand ready, on reimbursement by 
the crown of what it had paid, to deliver up the deeds which 
it held for that province. All commissions which ran into 
New Hampshire were declared to be void, and the statement 
was made that the king was considering the reorganization 
of its government. 

In the election of May, 1679, the moderate party in Mas- 
sachusetts won a victory. Bradstreet was chosen governor 
in the place of Leverett. In the session of February, 1680, 
some further concessions were made.^ A form of commis- 
sion for military officers was prepared by which they were 
authorized to act ^^in his Majesty's name." Provision was 
made for the election of eighteen assistants. Commissions to 
the four New Hampshire towns were withdrawn. As Mas- 
sachusetts considered herself proprietor of Maine, with the 
powers which Gorges had formerly possessed, an order was 
now passed for the establishment there of government for 
one year, under a president, justices, and other officers, as 
provided in Gorges's patent. The officials were to be com- 

1 Mass. CoL Bees. V. 192 et seq, 

* Hutchinson Coll. II. 267 ; Toppan, III. 44, 4S. 

* This meant at a single rate, for Randolph later advised that a printed 
order from the king should be sent over, requiring that all persons, ratable 
at 10s. upon a single rate, having taken the oath of allegiance, should be 
ip9o facto freemen. Toppan, III. 68. 

« Mass. Col. Recs. V. 210, 261, 266. 


PABT missioned under the seal of Massachusetts.^ It howeyer re- 
J^ mained true that rights of goveniment could not be trans- 
ferred by purchase and sale. The crown took no steps to 
confer governmental rights in Maine on the colony of Mas- 
sachusetts. In view of this fact the exercise of such powers 
in Maine was of very doubtful legality, and that defect 
attached to them until after the revocation of the Massachu- 
setts charter. 

The command to once more send agents to England and 
to change the law concerning the suffrage caused the general 
court the greatest perplexity.^ The serious consideration of 
the matter was postponed until the session of May, 1680. 
The court even then delayed long over its reply. Soon after 
the beginning of the session it sent a letter to the Ekurl of 
Sunderland, stating what had been done by the February 
court, and that the inclemency of the season had prevented 
many from attending; that for this reason the remaining 
commands of the king's letter had been postponed until the 
present court; but further reply, they said, was prevented by 
the sudden departure of the ship on which this letter was 
sent. The court prolonged its session until June 11, when 
another letter was sent to Sunderland.^ In addition to what 
had been stated before, this letter informed him that a com- 
mittee had been appointed to examine the laws of the colony 
preparatory to the repeal of those which were found repug- 
nant to the statutes of England. They affirmed that, in 
regard to liberty of conscience, no occasion for complaint 
should be given to Protestant dissenters who remained 
peaceable ; but this privilege must not be understood to 
extend to Quakers and to other notorious heretics. The 
purchase of Maine was defended, as was also the existing law 
concerning the suffrage, and the latter was so interpreted as 
not to include the Anglicans among the heterodox. Various 
excuses were offered for the delay in sending over agents, 
among them being the financial straits to which the colony 
had been reduced by the Indian war, and the report that the 
English government was occupied with other matters. 

1 Mass. Col. Recs. V. 203. * Palfrey, HI, 834. 

• Maas. Col. Recs. V. 287 et nq. 


In September, 1680, the king wrote again to Massachusetts CHAP, 
in a strain of great irritation, commanding that within three ^_^ 
months after the receipt of his letter agents should be sent to 
England fully instructed, not only in reference to the settle- 
ment of affairs in Massachusetts, but concerning the claim 
which Mason was now urging to territory between the 
Naumkeag and Merrimac rivers. This letter was brought 
over by Mason, who now came to New England to support 
in person his various territorial claims. A special session of 
the general court was called, January 4, 1681,^ and the letter 
was read before this body. The brief entries which follow in 
the court minutes show that daily sessions for more than a 
week were occupied with debates on the perplexing situa- 
tion with which the colony was confronted. Much attention, 
we are told, was also paid to the revision of the laws, with 
the view of eliminating, if possible, the provisions to which 
the law officers of the crown had objected. The debates 
were continued through an adjourned session in March, and 
at the regular court of election in May, 1681. Some changes 
in the laws were agreed to, among which was the omission 
of the act against observing Christmas, and the repeal of the 
law which provided that Quakers who returned to the colony 
after banishment should be put to death. 

The selection and appointment of agents gave rise to other 
difficulties. If, twenty years before, this service was con- 
sidered a thankless task, much more was it so now. Alger- 
ine pirates had recently captured William Harris of Provi- 
dence, as he was on a voyage to Europe, and this circumstance 
suggested other perils than those which the agents would 
have to meet when once they should reach England and at- 
tempt to satisfy both the demands of the home government 
and the claims of the colonists. William Stoughton and 
Samuel Nowell were first selected, but Stoughton did not 
desire to repeat his former experience as agent and declined 
the appointment. John Richards, a magistrate and man of 
prominence among the merchants of Boston, was chosen in 
his place. A letter was then written to Sir Lionel Jenkins,' 

1 Mass. CoL Rec8. V. 302, 812. > Ibid. 311. 


PART explaining in part what had already been done and pleading 
' excuses for delay. But still the agents were not sent. 

Randolph, meantime, had returned to England after his 
first year's residence at Boston as customs officer. His mind 
was filled with details of the obstructive tactics and the 
spirit of opposition which he had met with in Massachusetts. 
These he poured into the ears of the crown officials, urging 
qtw warranto proceedings and the recall of the charter as the 
only sufficient remedy for the evil. Massachusetts, he said, 
should then be governed by a commission, like that which 
had recently been appointed for New Hampshire, until the 
time should come for the despatch of some royal appointee — 
Lord Culpeper, for example — as governor. While Randolph 
was in England the letter from the general court to Jenkins 
arrived, but not the agents. An order in council was ac- 
cordingly issued in which, though it directly related to 
the encouragement of Randolph as customs officer and to 
measures for the enforcement of the acts of trade, expressed 
strong doubt of the truth of the excuses for delay in the 
despatch of agents. The order was accompanied by a long 
letter,^ drafted by the lords of trade, in which, after review- 
ing in severe terms the obstructionist tactics of Massachusetts 
as practised in 1635 and continuously since the Restoration, 
denouncing them as ^^irregularities, crimes, and misde- 
meanors," the colony was charged to forthwith send over 
fully instructed agents, in default whereof at the next 
Trinity term qiio warranto proceedings would be instituted 
in the King's Bench. This letter, the spirit of which he 
could fully approve, Randolph brought to Boston on his 
return at the close of 1681. 

The magistrates and elders now saw that further delay 
would be impossible, and the general court was called to- 
gether at the middle of February, 1682. The agents were 
at last appointed, Joseph Dudley taking the place to which 
Nowell had previously been assigned.^ With this appoint- 
ment Dudley was fairly launched upon his conspicuous 
career as a moderate in Massachusetts politics, an attitude in 

1 Colonial Papers, 1681-1685, 128, 129 (October 21, 1681). This letter is 
printed in full in Chalmers, Annals, 443. ^ Mass. CoL Recs. V. 383, 846. 


which he was confirmed by the experience that he was now chap. 
to have in England. Detailed instructions were given to 
the agents, they being directed to reply to all the charges 
which had been made in the letter that had just been re- 
ceived. In reference to the coining of money they were to 
plead necessity and seek the king's pardon for offending 
against the law. They were also to admit that in some cases 
the colony rate of one penny in the pound had been levied 
on non-residents, but were also to claim that this was 
necessary as a means of providing for defence. In general 
the circumstances of their position as colonists should be 
plead in extenuation of any departures from the strict terms 
of the charter. They were to state that no law had ever 
been passed prohibiting Anglican worship in the colony, and 
none then existed against Baptists, while the earlier proceed- 
ings against Quakers had received the approval of the king. 
It was asserted that others than Congregationalists were 
admitted as freemen, and the belief was expressed that under 
the charter the court might admit whom it chose into the 
company. The agents were ordered to state that all due 
provision had been made for the enforcement of the acts of 
trade, and they were to explain the court charges imposed 
upon Randolph when he insisted that extra sessions should 
be called to try revenue cases. They were instructed to 
insist that appeals would be an intolerable burden. The 
course which Massachusetts had followed in Maine should be 
defended, and the agents should insist that, if trials of suits 
arising out of Mason's claim ^ to land south of the Merrimac 
river became necessary, they should be held in Massachusetts. 
At the close of the instructions the agents were required not 
to consent to anything which might infringe the liberties 
granted in the charter, and if anything was proposed which 
implied this they were ordered to plead lack of power. This 
brought the negotiation — for such it essentially was — back 
to the point where all the earlier efforts which had been 
made to reach an understanding had broken down. 

^ A strong address from many of those who were affected by the claim 
was at this time sent to the king. Mass. Recs. V. 834. Mason^s hopes in 
this direction were in the end totally defeated. 


When, in August, 1682, Dudley and Richards arriyed in 
England and presented the defence ^ of the colony as they 
had been instructed, it was declared to be unsatisfactory. 
Randolph had in the meantime kept up his correspondence, 
with its usual burden of accusation, and had actually filed 
with the English authorities a series of articles ' against the 
general court of Massachusetts. When, therefore, the agents 
were told that they must procure additional powers or suit 
against the charter would be at once' begun, Randolph was 
summoned to England to aid in the prosecution. 

The agents immediately informed the general court of the 
attitude of the home government. A special session of the 
court was called, February 7, 1688,^ and the questions at 
issue were again debated at length. A new set of instruc- 
tions to the agents was prepared, and more letters were sent. 
But they implied no change in the situation. The burden 
of them all was that the government of Massachusetts was 
satisfactory to its inhabitants, and while they were willing 
to submit to such regulations as would bring its adminis- 
tration into agreement with the charter, beyond that they 
would not willingly go. To any essential change of system 
they would not consent. In the instructions this appeared 
with the utmost clearness. " Whereas, in our commission & 
power sent to you our general limitation is the saving to us the 
main ends of our coming over into this wilderness, you are 
hereby principally to understand our liberties & privileges 
in matters of religion & worship of God, which you are there- 
fore in no wise to consent to any infringement of." They 
were also not to consent to appeals, but to refer such decision 
of the home government to the general court. In regard to 
the admission of freemen, the general court insisted that it 
had complied with the king's demands, and the agents should 
consent to no modification of the law on that point. They 
were not to agree to any change in the organization of the 

1 Colonial Papers, 1681-1685, 288. The answer is printed in fall in 
Chalmers, Annals, 460. 

3 Hutchinson Papers, 11. 266. Toppan, in. 130. 

< Colonial Papers, 1681-1685, 296 (September 20, 1682). 

« Mass. Col. Recs. V. 382-392. 


general court or to the removal of the seat of govemment. CHAP. 
These instructions meant that a voluntary abandonment of 
the system on which the colony had been founded was not 
to be expected. In a letter the agents were told that they 
might surrender Maine, if that would save the charter, but 
they were not to consider themselves empowered to answer 
a quo warranto. 

Late in the spring of 1688, Randolph arrived again in 
England. He was at once ordered to attend the attorney 
general with proofs and charges.^ He submitted twelve 
charges, among them being the allegation that the colony 
had passed laws repugnant to those of England, that it had 
levied taxes on non-freemen and customs duties on goods 
from EIngland, that an oath of fidelity had been imposed 
notwithstanding the orders of the king to the contrary, that 
the right of appeals was denied, that they coined money, 
that the execution of the laws of trade was opposed, that 
members of the Church of England were discountenanced 
and were forced to attend the religious meetings which 
alone were recognized as lawful in the colony. The resolve 
of the govemment had already been taken, and before Ran- 
dolph had been in London a month Attorney General Thomas 
Jones filed an information in the nature of a writ of qtio 
warrantOj^ addressed through the sheriff of London to the 
magistrates of the Massachusetts company, commanding 
them to appear the next Michaelmas term to show by what 
warrant they enjoyed certain franchises, whether in the king- 
dom of England or in parts across sea. Some three weeks 
later Randolph was appointed messenger to take the in- 
formation to Massachusetts, while at the same time the 
agents were excused from further attendance. Randolph 
WBS furnished with two hundred copies of a royal declaration 
to the effect that in Massachusetts ' private rights and prop- 
erty would be respected, and if submission was made, only 
liberal regulations of the charter would be enforced. 

1 Colonial Piq)er8, 1681-1685, 484, 440, 446 ; Pftlfrey, m. 876; Chalmen, 
Annals, 462. 

s Mbmb. Col. Recs. V. 421, 428. Tbe date of the information yna Jane 27. 
• Colonial Papen, 1681-1686, 468, 466. 


Randolph arrived in Boston on October 26. On Novem- 
ber 7, less than two weeks after his arrival, the general 
court was summoned. At first the magistrates voted in 
favor of submission, but to this the deputies refused to 
agree, and defended this attitude in a long series of argu- 
ments, the extant statement of which is supposed to be from 
the pen of Increase Mather.^ The only positive action taken 
was the appointment of Robert Humphreys,' a London bar- 
rister, as attorney for the colony, ^^ to save default and out- 
lawry for the present." He was instructed to delay action 
as long as possible, to question the jurisdiction of King's 
Bench over franchises exercised in America, and the author- 
ity of the sheriff of London to serve a writ on persons who 
were never inhabitants of England. He was also to show 
that the writ was not served on the parties concerned until 
the time of appearance was past. The last mentioned point 
was a most important one, and, as the event proved, effec- 
tively blocked procedure under the qtw warranto. The time 
set for the return of the writ at Westminster was early in 
November, a date which had already arrived or was past 
when the general court was called together and the writ 
was laid before it. 

As soon as the decision of the general court was reached 
not to make submission, Randolph started on his return 
voyage to England. He arrived there and reported the 
failure of his errand about the middle of February, 1684.' 
His report was referred, through the committee of trade and 
plantations, to the attorney general, who was now Sir Robert 
Sawyer. On May 18 Sawyer reported* that the qtio war- 
ranto had been drawn in the ordinary form, but had not been 
delivered until after the return of the writ was out; because 
of this, and of doubt whether notice could be taken of New 
England because it was outside the bailiwick of the sheriff 
of London, a return could not be made. " I think," contin- 
ued Sawyer, " that the best way to reach them will be by a 

1 3 Mass. Hist Colls. I. 74 ; Palfrey, IIL 880. 

3 Colonial Papers, 1681-1685, 587 ; Mass. Recs. V. 424, 426. 

• Colonial Papers, 1681-1685, 587, 599, 601. 

* Ibid, 631 ; Toppan, III. 297. 


scire facias against the Company to repeal the patent, and CHAP, 
upon a nihil returned by the Sheriff of London, a second 
special writ being directed to Mr. Randolph, who shall give 
notice in time before the return of the writ who may make 
return thereof." 

Under the writ of scire facias^ according to the rules of 
procedure which then obtained, after the sheriff or his agent 
had twice returned nihilj and that too within a brief period, 
the prosecutor could enter a rule for the defendant to an- 
swer within eight days, or judgment would be entered by 
default to avoid the patent.^ If the defendant made default, 
the charter could be voided without his receiving any notice. 
It was for this reason that Attorney General Sawyer, as soon 
as he was informed of the failure of Randolph's attempt to 
serve the qito warranto in time for a legal return, advised 
that the process of scire facias should be resorted to. This 
course the government adopted, and the Massachusetts 
charter was cancelled. The final decree was entered Octo- 
ber 18, 1684. 

The words of the decree, which was entered after the 
second return of nihil., were as follows : " Whereupon the 
aforesaid Robert Sawyer knight, the king's Attorney General 
who prosecutes this cause for our Sovereign Lord the King, 
prayed Judgment and that the said Letters Patents, soe as 
aforesaid to the said Governor and Company made and 
granted, the Inrollment of the same, for the reasons aforesaid 
forfeited; be Cancelled, vacated and annihilated and restored 
into the Chancery of our said Sovereign Lord the king there 
to be Cancelled. And the said Governor and Company, the 
fourth Day of the Plea of Eight dales of the holy Tranity 
above menconed, before the king in his said Chancery here. 
That is to say att Westminster aforesaid, being solemnly 
called, did not appeare but made default, whose default is re- 

1 Foster, Writ of Scire Facias. The two returns of nihU in the case of 
the Crown vs. Massachusetts will be found incorporated in the body of the 
judgment, 4 Mass. Hist. Colls. IL 262, 278. See also an Order of Chancery, 
June 2, 1684, that judgment should be entered against the defendants in the 
case of the Massachusetts charter, if they did not appear and plead on the 
first day of the next term. Toppan, IIL 807, 308. 


corded by the said Court here. Therefore by the said Court 
here itt is adjudged that the aforesaid Letters Patents . . . 
and the inrollment thereof be vacated, Cancelled and anni- 
hilated, and into the said Court restored there to be can- 
celled." The main features of the process appear in the 
language of the decree. It was summary and the decree was 
entered after default. But it was effectiye, and by no other 
judicial process was any corporation resident in America 
reached during that period of colonial history. 

When, two years later, Randolph was charged with the 
service of qtto warranto writs against Rhode Island and Con- 
necticut, he wrote, ^^ Now to the intent the time limited for 
serving the writ upon the Governors and Companys of those 
CoUonys may not be lapsed by delays and the difficulties of 
a winter voyage, and his Majesty's prosecutions thereby ren- 
dered ineffectual, as it was in serving the writ of qtw warranto 
against the Boston charter, it is humbly proposed, that in 
three weeks time at farthest a ship is bound from London 
directly to New England, by which the qiu> warranto may be 
sent and served accordingly, to the end there may be no de- 
lays made in that affair."^ 

The charges which were selected from the list that Ran- 
dolph submitted, and which appear in the decree of Chancery 
as those upon which the charter was declared void, were 
these: that taxes had been unlawfully levied on non-freemen 
and non-residents, that money had been coined, and that an 
oath of fidelity had been administered. From the political 
and historical standpoint these were not the most important 
among the offences of Massachusetts. But they were proba- 
bly regarded as in a peculiar sense transcending the rights 
of a private corporation, and in this light the lawyers of the 
time always regarded Massachusetts. For this reason it is 
likely that they were selected, and they were sufficient for 
the purpose. 

The immediate effect of the decree, as soon as the home 
government took the steps required for its execution, was to 
dissolve the general court and bring it totally and forever to 

1 R. L CoL Reca. m. 177. 


an end. With it disappeared the freemen, the system of CHAP, 
elections, and much of the official system which had been 
developed within the colony. Local government in the 
towns was the part which least felt the shock. The com- 
pleteness of the change was due to the fact that, owing to 
the peculiar origin of the corporate colony, the corporation 
and the colony had been merged and had become one and the 
same structure. Therefore the destruction of the former also 
effectually wrecked the latter. Had the corporation con- 
tinued resident in England, its dissolution would not neces- 
sarily have affected an assembly which it might have granted 
to its colony. That would have remained as a concession 
which the power that succeeded to the corporation would 
have been bound in the interest of liberty to continue in 
existence. When the charter of a corporate colony was taken 
away, that result would not follow without an act creating 
the general court or assembly anew. That was a penalty 
which the corporate colony was bound to pay as the price 
of its earlier and more complete independence, and Massa- 
chusetts was made to feel the reverse and humiliation to the 
full. The struggle had been a long one, and the triumph of 
the home government seemed correspondingly great. The 
citadel of colonial independency had fallen. The path 
toward consolidation and the establishment of vigorous 
administrative control seemed open, and the group of officials 
who supported this policy and who had won the battle were 
not slow to enforce the changes which it implied. 




Some two years elapsed after the opinions had been de- 
livered in England which established the law of the case, 
before decisive steps were taken to set up a royal govern- 
ment over the four towns of New Hampshire. These towns 
had felt the influence of the proprietary system only to a 
very slight extent, and for more than a generation they had 
been entirely free from it. Pressure from the home govern- 
ment they had felt only during the brief visit of the royal 
commissioners. When Massachusetts brought the settle- 
ments beneath her sway, the formal consent of the inhabit- 
ants had been obtained, and the majority had doubtless 
joined with heartiness in giving it. An Anglican minority, 
however, had submitted unwillingly to Puritan rule, and 
were ready to welcome its cessation, if that were not to re- 
sult in too great restriction of local independence. But 
social conditions in the New Hampshire towns were essen- 
tially the same as those in Massachusetts, and the mild 
infusion of Anglicanism made only a slight difference. No 
more robust example of the Puritan clergyman was to be 
found at that time in New England than was the Rev. 
Joshua Moody of Portsmouth, and his influence was such 
that the royal officials called him the archbishop. They 
found that he virtually, if not actually, held a seat in the 
council. Vaughan, Weare, Waldron, and many other set- 
tlers shared in his spirit. They had been content under 
Massachusetts government and had participated in its bene- 
fits. Not the least among these was the sense of security 
which came from connection with the larger colony, in the 
case of possible conflicts with the Indians.^ Now, as the 

^ This was expressed in the first address of the president and council to the 
king. New Hampshire State Papers, XIX. 672. 



result of a judicial opinion delivered in England, they were CHAP, 
to be transferred under royal control. At the same time ^^ ^^ 
the active assertion of the territorial claims of Mason was 
to be revived, though he legally possessed no rights of 
government with which to enforce them. Because of the 
character of Mason himself and of the chief agent whom the 
English government employed, the change was for a time 
fraught with serious consequences to the colonists who were 
immediately concerned. It also furnished an object lesson 
to other New Englanders which was little likely to prepos- 
sess them in favor of the regime which Edward Randolph 
was so ardently laboring to establish. 

As a temporary measure the English government, in 1679, 
issued a commission to John Cutt,^ a prominent and respected 
merchant of Portsmouth, as president, to administer the 
affairs of the province with the assistance of a council. The 
president had long been active as a local official under the 
Massachusetts government. So also had the members of 
the council, who in each case stood among the leading men 
in their towns. Richard Martyn and William Vaughan of 
Portsmouth and Richard Waldron of Dover were among 
the councillors. The spirit of conciliation toward the colo- 
nists which was indicated in the make-up of the council 
was further shown in the provision that within three months 
an assembly should be called. Such regulations about 
elections should be enforced as seemed most convenient. 
The usual provisions for securing the rights and authority 
of the crown were included in the commission, especially 
those for appeals in both criminal and civil cases, for the 
submission of the acts of assembly to the crown, and for 
the administration of the oath of allegiance to all officials. 
Though these provisions were customary in royal commis- 
sions, it is needless to say that they appeared strange and 
novel in New England. The king's seal was to be used in 
the administration of justice. Authority and direction were 
also given in the commission respecting the exercise of the 
most important powers of government. The president and 

1 N. H. Provincial P&pera, L 373. 
VOL. in — z 


council were also informed that Mason had agreed to grant 
full titles to all landholders in the province for the improved 
land which they held, and to retain the unimproved land for 
himself, to be disposed of in the future. He had also agreed 
not to demand a rent in excess of 6d. in the pound on 
the value of real estate. No claims for rent prior to June 
12, 1680, should be urged. If any of the inhabitants should 
refuse to agree to these terms, the president and council 
should, if possible, effect a settlement, but if not, the evi- 
dences and opinions in the case should be sent to England. 
Though the proprietor was left with his territorial rights, 
the crown could not permit their exercise except under 
certain conditions and limitations which were prescribed by 

As soon as this government went into operation, it became 
evident that affairs would be conducted to a large extent 
according to New England traditions. In March, 1680, the 
general assembly ^ met at Portsmouth. It was chosen by 
electors, all of whom, as specified in the summons which was 
issued by the president and council, were named in the 
writs. To all, except a few from Dover, the oath of alle- 
giance was administered. The naming of electors in the 
writs was a provincial procedure, and subversive of local 
rights in the towns. But it was intended, we may suppose, 
to exclude the votes of those who were not in agreement 
with the Massachusetts party in the province. The first 
business of the assembly was to send a letter to Massachu- 
setts expressing gratitude for the protection which had been 
received from that colony in the past, and stating that sep- 
aration from her had been due to other causes than dissatis- 

The assembly then passed a considerable list of general 
laws, the first which had ever been enacted by a New Hamp- 
shire legislature. Among them appears the characteristic 
criminal legislation of the Puritan commonwealths, passed 
with slight regard to the provisions of English law on the 
same subjects. The township system was also confirmed, 

1 N. H. Provincial Papers, L 383, 408, 410 ; Belknap, History of New 
Hampshire, L 177 ; Laws of New Hampshire, I. 9, 11, 12-41. 


together with all town grants and other grants of land and CHAP, 
rights within the province. Controversies involving titles ^ ' j 
to land, it was declared, should be tried before juries elected 
by the freemen of the towns. These enactments were sure 
to be regarded by Mason as inconsistent with his title as 
proprietor, while the method of selecting jurymen here pre- 
scribed was quite inconsistent with English law and prac- 
tice. Provision was made for annual assemblies — which 
should also act as a court of appeal — and for an inferior 
court held by the president and council. It should meet 
three times annually, sitting in Dover, Hampton, and Ports- 
mouth in succession. In the assembly, the council, and on 
the bench the president, or his deputy, should have the 
casting vote in cases of a tie. The laws relating to courts 
and officers by which the towns had previously been 
governed, so far as they were not repugnant to the laws 
of England, should be continued in force. Provision was 
made for a franchise which was based chiefly on the free- 
hold, though also with clauses requiring that the recipients 
should be Protestants who were moral in life and who 
should have taken the oath of allegiance. The method of 
levying and collecting the province rate, in the usual form 
of the combined personal and property tax, was prescribed. 
Richard Martyn, a member of the council and an active 
defender of the rights of the colonists, was appointed treas- 
urer.i A beginning was made in limiting fees by prescrib- 
ing those of the marshal or sheriff. 

In December, 1680, Mason and Richard Chamberlain ap- 
peared in the province.^ The latter was an English barris- 
ter, a friend of Mason, and had been appointed secretary to 
the council of New Hampshire. Mason brought with him a 
warrant from the king, requiring that he should be admitted 
to a seat in the council. This was obeyed. Chamberlain 
states in letters to Blathwayt and to the lords of trade that 
the council deliberated for three days before they would 
permit him to begin performing duties of his office as secre- 

^ N. H. Provincial Papers, I. 474. 

s Colonial Papers, 1677-1680, 687, 688, 602, 608 ; N. H. Provincial Papers, 


tary. It seems that the members of the council, supported 
by Moody, insisted that Chamberlain should take an oath 
of secrecy. The object of this was to prevent his communi- 
cating the business of the council to the authorities in Eng- 
land. But one of the principal injunctions which had been 
laid upon him by those same English officials was to write 
home frequently and to send accounts of all the business 
done in his office and of all orders and papers which were 
registered there. Therefore Chamberlain refused to take 
the oath. " I told them," he wrote later to Blathwayt, 
"that I intended to be guided alike by my duty to the 
council here and to the ancient laws of England. As a 
compromise, I suggested that the matter might stand over 
till I received instructions from England, but after that I 
was set on by the whole posse comitatus of the council, both 
ordinary and extraordinary, including Mr. Moody, their 
archbishop. I positively declared that I neither could nor 
would derogate from the king's commission. I said just 
now that Mr. Moody was virtually of the council, and I 
believe Mr. Mason will inform you of his superintending in 
all matters public and private, but I confess that I told him 
he was none of the council. The occasion was upon his 
inculcation of my oath of secrecy, and his interpretation of 
the terms of my commission. He resented it so much that 
I fear I have done my business as a church member." ^ 
This was the first time that a blow was directly aimed by a 
royal official and a lawyer at the peculiar function which 
for so many years the New England clergy had been perform- 
ing in the councils of their respective colonies. From a state- 
ment which was made to the effect that they knew what 
they had to do, it was conjectured, says Chamberlain, that 
they debated matters before they came to the sessions. 

When finally Chamberlain had been admitted to his office, 
he requested the books and papers belonging to it, which 
were in the hands of Elias Stileman, who, when Waldron suc- 
ceeded Cutt as president, was appointed as his deputy. At 
first he was told that they had no council book. He asked 
to have one provided, but he was told that the country was 

1 Colonial Papers, 1681-1686, 48, 49. 



poor. Later, what was apparently a rough draft of the acts CHAP, 
and orders of the council was delivered to Chamberlain to 
transcribe and keep for his own use, while the fair copy was 
to remain in the possession of Stileman. Stileman was also 
recorder and clerk of the writs, and retained the papers which 
were filed in connection with the business of that office. He 
was at the same time captain of the fort. Here was an ac- 
cumulation of offices almost as notable as any which we have 
in the proprietary provinces. But still more was to come. 
To make my commission insignificant," writes Chamberlain, 
they have appointed three of themselves to be joint secre- 
taries or registrars of the province; Stileman for the matters 
aforesaid and for Portsmouth and Dover, Samuel Dal ton for 
Hampton and Exeter, and Richard Martyu to take charge of 
the shipping. I have told the Council that I believe it to be 
the law that persons who are judges in any court of judicature 
cannot also be ministers to the same court. It is derogatory 
to the King's service that the Deputy President of the prov- 
ince and a lawmaker should also hold so mean an office as 
maker of writs and attachments." Coming to matters of 
still closer personal interest, the secretary wrote : "My fees 
are so small that they are not worth the naming. My salary 
and perquisites are ordered to be settled according to the meas- 
ure of other colonies, but the authorities here do not see fit 
to do it, so that hitherto I hold but the name of an office, the 
profits being shared by the persons before named. I beg 
that the King will fix my salary and order the Council to pay 
it, and that the issue of writs and other due perquisites may 
be attached to my office." The first royal governor was soon 
to find that the climate of New Hampshire was well adapted 
for freezing out royal officials, while Chamberlain was finding 
that its inhabitants were adepts in the art of starving them 
out. He was among the first, but was by no means the last, 
of that class in the colonies to feel pressure of this sort. 
The customs officials, beginning with Randolph, were more 
fortunate in having their salaries guarantied by the home 

Sessions of the assembly were held in March, and again at 
intervals until December, 1680. It also acted as a court of 


FART appeals. Chamberlain calling attention to the fact that provi- 
sion for this was not made in the commission of government.^ 
Chamberlain also states that, with Mason, he attended the 
election at Dover for deputies to the second assembly, which 
met in March, 1681.' "At that time," he says, "several 
demanded their liberty to vote, which was denied by Major 
Walderne, our present President. It was then said that but 
thirty were allowed to vote, and Mr. Mason, when he with- 
drew, was followed by many, complaining that a hundred 
and fifty persons, all payers of great taxes, were excluded 
from voting." Chamberlain reported that it was thought the 
deputies were nominated by the council, and that it allowed 
none but whom it pleased to vote at elections.' 

When the general assembly addressed itself to legislation 
and to the revision of the laws, the deputies and council 
apparently sitting in one house. Chamberlain presented objec- 
tions to the laws which had been passed the previous year. 
He condemned them as unnecessary because the king had 
sent over a volume of English statutes, which were ready to 
their hand. He also objected to them on the ground that 
they were drawn so largely from the statute book of Massa- 
chusetts. " Surely," he said, " it would not please his Maj- 
esty that we should cast ofif obedience to the jurisdiction of 
Massachusetts, and yet yoke ourselves inseparably under its 
laws." He finally criticised a number of the laws because 
they were repugnant to the statutes of England. Upon the 
necessity of repealing the act conferring these grants he espe- 
cially insisted. But the arguments of the secretary met with 
no response. 

In point of law the original claim of the Mason family 
to the ungranted and unimproved land of New Hampshire 
and to a reasonable quit rent from the granted and improved 
land was valid. Their right to it was as clear as that of 

1 Laws of New Hampshire, I. 38, 40, 42. Provision for action by the 
assembly as a court of appeals was made in an act of 1680. 

^ Laws of New Hampshire, I. 43. 

* The number of voters in Dover who were named in the writs for March, 
1680, was sixty-one. Whether the voters were specified in the writs for the 
assembly of 1681, we are not informed. 


the proprietors of New Jersey to the land of their province. CHAP. 
But practically there was an important difference between ^* 
the position of Robert Mason and that of the New Jersey 
proprietors. The latter administered the territorial affairs 
of their province uninterruptedly from the time of their 
grant. But more than a generation had now passed since 
members of the family of John Mason had been connected 
with New Hampshire, except as persistent claimants of its 
lands and of rights of government over it as well. Their 
agitation had been carried on in England, and, so far as 
rights of government were concerned, it had failed. The 
claims to land had been sustained, and Robert Mason, under 
authority from the crown, now appeared to realize upon 
those. It was the first time that one who claimed to be 
proprietor of New Hampshire had set foot on its soil.^ 

To continue the comparison : the proprietors of New Jer- 
sey set up a government of their own, and, whether legally 
or not, used it as an aid in the administration of their terri- 
torial affairs. Mason had no coercive authority. He was 
forced to depend at the outset on a government which, 
though organized under royal authority, was in spirit as 
hostile both to Mason and to the existing colonial policy of 
England as Massachusetts itself. During a period of forty 
years the settlers had been making their own terms with the 
Indians respecting land, or settling within town grants, while 
the authority for their action was self derived or came from 
a commission of Massachusetts. We know what difficulty 
the proprietors of New Jersey met in their efforts to collect 
rents from settlers who had only just received patents from 
another source. It was an obstacle which they never over- 
came, and which almost mastered them when they had to 
meet it unsupported by rights of government. How then 
could Mason expect to induce any, except a small minority, 
of the people of New Hampshire to pay rent to him unless 
they were compelled to do so ? It is reported that Richard 
Martyn had said that neither the king nor Mason had any 

1 In the Yolumes of Colonial Papers, 1661-1668, and 1660^1674, may be 
traced the occasional letters of Nicholas Shapleigh, the agent of Mason in 
New Hampshire, relative to the latter*s interests there. 


more right to land in New Hampshire than Robin Hood, 
and that the council meant to oppose him. Waldron had 
warned people in Dover not to accept confirmation of their 
land from Mason. ^ According to Chamberlain, the council 
assumed toward Mason the attitude which Martyn said it 
would, though his statement that the people generally were 
ready to submit to the proprietor is both improbable and 
inconsistent with evidence which has survived in the 

In person and through stewards of his own appointment 
Mason at once began to urge his claims.^ The renewal of 
patents, or taking out of leases, was insisted upon. Rents 
were demanded and prohibitions to cut firewood or timber 
were issued. The title of lord proprietor was assumed, to 
the first word in which designation Mason certainly had no 
claim. Mason states that he offered to confirm titles on 
reasonable terms, and that one-half of the inhabitants came 
to him to have their lands confirmed. Among those who 
accepted the offer was President Cutt himself. But in the 
midst of Mason's campaign the president died (March, 1681), 
and Richard Waldron succeeded to his place. If we are to 
believe Mason, the agitation against himself originated chiefly 
in the council, and was led by Waldron and Martyn. But 
as soon as the people became aware of what was intended, 
opposition was started in all the towns. Sermons were 
preached, and both public and personal appeals against 
Mason were made by members of the council and their 
supporters. Mason posted declarations charging the coun- 
cillors with disobedience to the king's commission. Some 
of those in Dover were torn down by Waldron, and he 
is said to have threatened Mason's agents with punish- 
ment. A proclamation was issued warning all against exe- 
cuting Mason's illegal orders, which were issued under his 
assumed title of lord proprietor. Local tradition, as set 
forth by Belknap and others, is to the effect that resistance 
to Mason was spontaneous and general. It is easily con- 

1 Colonial Papers, 1681-16S5, 27, 60. 

> Ibid, 44, 18S ; Provincial Papers, I. 423, 420 ; Belknap, I. 182. 


ceivable that both statements, under proper limitations, are CHAP. 


true. -^ 

From the time when Waldron took office Mason ceased to 
attend the council, and hostile messages passed between the 
two parties. The council forbade Mason to proceed in such 
manner as he was doing, and prepared to transmit com- 
plaints to the king. Thereupon Mason himself threatened 
to appeal to the king, and summoned the president and 
council to appear within three months in London. An 
order was then issued for Mason's arrest, but he avoided it 
and returned to England.^ These events, together with the 
reception which Randolph had met when he attempted to 
seize a vessel for illegal trading, furnish additional evidence 
that the spirit of New Hampshire was much the same as that 
of Massachusetts. While the controversy with Mason was 
in progress, Barefoote and his assistants were again ar- 
rested' for seizing a vessel without the knowledge of the 
provincial authorities. 

Steps were now taken in England, in the interest of 
Mason and Randolph, to terminate the existence of the 
presidency and thus open the way for the fuller assertion 
of royal control. Chamberlain at this time wrote the letters 
home from which we have quoted at length. A statement 
equally unfavorable to the council was also sent, over the 
signatures' of Nicholas Shapleigh, Francis Champemowne, 
Walter Barefoote, and William Bickham, all of whom were 
fully identified with the royal and proprietary interest. 
Mason, on his arrival in England, in addition to his own 
petition, presented articles against Martyn and Waldron, 
alleging that they had not taken the oaths of allegiance and 
that they were opposing royal authority. Even the deceit 
which Waldron had practised on the Indians at the close of 
the late war, and which was ultimately to cost him his life, 
was cited against him.^ In order the better to secure the 
establishment of royal government. Mason also agreed to 
surrender to the crown all the fines and forfeitures, and one- 

1 Colonial Papers, 1681-1686, 46, 64, 138. > Ibid. 44. 

• Ibid, 62. * Ibid, 140. 


PART fifth of the rents and profits, which were his due as proprie- 
^^' ^ tor of New Hampshire. These he proposed should be used 
for the support of royal government in that province. Judg- 
ing from the reception which Mason's claims had met in the 
province, the offer could not greatly impoverish the pro- 
prietor or enrich the governor for whom its benefits were 
intended. But the offer was duly accepted by the crown. 
After examining the acts which had been passed during the 
administration of Cutt, the committee of trade and planta- 
tions voted to recommend that the king disallow them all, on 
the ground that they were unsatisfactory both in style and 
matter. Evidence of final action is lacking, as well as proof 
that the colonists were notified of the fact that the acts had 
been disallowed. This leaves the validity of the so-called 
^^ Cutt code '* in doubt. But another recommendation of the 
committee was surely acted upon. Because of the irregu- 
larity of proceedings in New Hampshire, they urged that some 
one be appointed *'*' to settle the country, with such Commis- 
sion and Instructions as are usually given to other Grov- 
emors.'* On the strength of these representations, Edward 
Cr,anfield was appointed royal governor of New Hampshire,^ 
March, 1682. After the appointment Mason mortgaged the 
land of the entire province to the governor for twenty-one 
years as security for the payment of £150 annually for seven 

Cranfield, years before, had served as gentleman usher to 
the king. In 1675 he was appointed head of a commission 
to bring off the English from Surinam, after that island had 
finally been surrendered to the Dutch in exchange for New 
Netherland.2 The duties which were then imposed upon him 
he seems to have satisfactorily performed . But we know noth- 
ing in his character or previous experience which tended to 
develop the sympathy and discretion that were needed in the 
office to which he was now called. Cranfield received to 
their full extent the powers which the English government 
was then coming to bestow on royal governors, provision at 

1 Ibid. 102, 218 : ProviDcial Papers, I. 483, 464, 465. Only six oat of the 
forty clauses of his instractionB are in print. Belknap, I. ISO. 
a Colonial Papers, 1675-1676, 169, 194, 277, 2S8, 289, 898, 897. 


the same time being made for the continuance of the assem- CHAP. 
bly. As was common at the time, a clause was introduced ^ ^^' 
into the commission to the effect that, until an assembly made 
provision for an adequate revenue, the existing taxes and 
imports should continue to be levied. It was a power wliich 
the government in New Hampshire found it especially neces- 
sary ^ to use. The personnel of the council was not greatly 
changed. The specifications concerning Mason's claims re- 
mained unmodified. The duties, and at the same time the 
income, of Chamberlain were increased by his appointment 
as register of deeds and clerk of all the courts of the prov- 
ince. Walter Barefoote, who had been one of the least 
scrupulous among Randolph's agents, was admitted to the 
council and made justice of the peace and judge of the court 
of pleas held at Great island. One Joseph Raines, who was 
apparently a passionate and brutal man,' was appointed 
sheriff and attorney general. These appointments were in- 
dicative of a more strenuous policy on the part of Mason and 
his adherents. By means of them, offices, as far as possible, 
were accumulated in the hands of his supporters. The mort- 
gage, to which reference has been made, gave Cranfield a 
personal interest in the efforts which were now to be renewed 
for the purpose of extorting a territorial revenue from New 
Hampshire. The more numerous the suits, the larger would 
be the fees of the judges and other court officers. 

Cranfield at first seems to have been inclined toward 
friendly relations with the people of New Hampshire.^ 
After inquiring into charges which Mason and Randolph 
had preferred against Waldron and Martyn, though for a 
long time they had been leaders in opposition to the pro« 
prietor's claims, the governor found nothing to convict them 
of disloyalty. They were therefore restored to the council, 
from which for a time they had been suspended. He also 
expressed the belief that Mason had misrepresented both the 
resources of New Hampshire and the temper of its people. 
He criticised also the attitude and character of the secretary, 

1 ProTinclal F&pera, L 440, 475, 488. * Ibid, 466, 477, 482, 484. 

* See the remarkable letter of Cranfield, the first which he sent to the lords 
of trade after his arrival in the province. Colonial Papers, 1681-1685, 812. 


^^T Chamberlain. It seemed to him that the people were loyal 
to the king, and that what they really desired was a fair trial 
at law of the questions in controversy. To a judgment 
reached in that way he believed they would willingly submit. 
He was clearly of the opinion that any attempt to establish 
the Church of England in the province would be very 
grievous to the people, for they were devout and tenacious of 
their worship. 

It is difficult to understand how it was that the man who, 
on December 1, 1682, expressed such reasonable views, by 
the close of that very month had totally changed his mind, 
and was ready to enter upon the most reckless and tyrannical 
course of policy which was ever followed by an appointee of 
the crown in the American continental colonies. From Cran- 
field's letters one would infer that the change was caused by 
a conviction that the people, combined throughout New Eng- 
land in Congregational churches and under the lead of their 
ministers, were bent on resisting, or at least thwarting, the 
plans of the crown. ^ This opinion seemed to be strengthened 
by evidences which he saw of the impossibility of enforcing 
the acts of trade in New England. But it will not do to 
attribute anything like decisive influence over the mind of 
Cranfield to considerations like these. The colonists, who 
saw what he did, were convinced that greed was the prime 
motive of his conduct, as it was also of all his associates and 
followers. His relations with Mason were so express and 
intimate as to give unusual strength to this motive and to 
array them both in a partnership against the people. Cran- 
field is reported to have said that he came for money and 
money he would have.^ When Nathaniel Weare took a peti- 
tion against Cranfield to England, the governor is reported 
to have exclaimed that he would get the names of the sub- 
scribers, " and it would be the best haul he ever had, for it 
would be worth £100 a man."* The history of his admin- 
istration, which lasted for about three years, though an 
unbroken record of vulgar oppression and extortion, is 

1 Colonial Papers, 1681-1686, 388, 449, 522. 

' Provincial Papers, I. 526, 531 ; Vaughan's JoumaL 

* Ibid, I. 563, Deposition of Peter Coffin. 


interesting as an illustration of the lengths to which it was CHAP, 
possible for a royal governor to go before, through process of 
appeal, his career could be checked. 

Under Cranfield New Hampshire had its first experience of 
disagreements between the governor and assembly, and the 
exercise by the former of the right of dissolution. With 
his assembly in its first session the governor was on amicable 
terms. It passed a number of laws, the one of greatest im- 
mediate importance transferring the selection of jurors from 
the freemen of the towns to the sheriff. This necessary act 
of conformity with English law enabled Cranfield, Mason, 
and their clique to control the make-up of juries when the 
time came to bring suits over land titles to trial. ^ 

Cranfield*s assembly met for its second session in January, 
1683. The governor offered a bill for raising a revenue, 
which the assembly refused to pass. After this they in- 
sisted on originating all bills ; also on their right to establish 
courts and nominate judges. These and other bills which 
were proposed by the assembly the governor said led directly 
toward independency. He therefore dissolved the assembly, 
and wrote home that with the assent of the council he should 
continue the impositions which had been levied since the 
time of President Cutt.' 

It was the dissolution of this assembly that occasioned the 
attempt at an uprising which was led by Edward Gove of 
Hampton. Gove had been a member of the assembly, and, 
lialf crazed by drink and political excitement, he attempted 
to arouse the inhabitants, especially of his own town and 
Exeter and Dover, to revolt. He declared that the gov- 
ernor, because he held the office of vice admiral under the 
Duke of York, would introduce popery ; also that his com- 
mission was invalid and its powers had been exceeded. A 
few appeared with him, mounted and under arms. But the 
militia was called out and the seditious parties were soon 
induced to disperse or surrender. Gove, with nine others, 

^ Laws of New Hampshire, I. 58-78; Provincial Papers, I. 444. 

* Colonial Papers, 1681-1685, 373, 388. The order of the governor and 
council for raising a revenue is printed in N. H. Laws, L 83, and is dated 
October 22, 1683. 


PART was brought to trial for high treason before a special courts 
of which Richard Waldron was the chief judge. Gove be- 
haved insolently before the court. Though the plea of 
lunacy was privately urged, he was found guilty and sen- 
tenced to be executed. The others were convicted of being 
accomplices, but were released on security for reappearance, 
if called for. Gove, in obedience to the reference in the 
king's commission concerning such cases, was sent to Eng- 
land. There he was imprisoned in the Tower, but finally, 
through the help of Randolph, was pardoned.^ 

A year passed before the next assembly was called, and by 
that time passions were so heated that agreement was not to be 
expected. It was need of revenue which at last forced Cran- 
field to the unwelcome alternative. Availing himself of 
rumors of an approaching war, he called an assembly in 
January, 1684, to meet near his own residence at Great 
island, and submitted to it a bill to provide for the repair of 
the fort, for ammunition, and to meet other charges of the 
government. It had already passed the council. The 
measure was debated, and then the house adjourned for the 
night, the members returning up the river to their homes. 
On the next day they rejected it. The governor then 
charged them with having consulted Mr. Moody and other 
enemies of the government, and immediately dissolved 
the assembly. Imitating the measures of Charles I, Cran- 
field then procured the appointment of several of the op- 
position members to the office of constables, in order to 
prevent their serving in the legislature. In order to escape 
the duty of serving in this office a fine of XIO must be paid.^ 

When, in the following summer, there were rumors of an 
Indian outbreak, Cranfield wrote, " We have not twopence 
in the Treasury, nor one farthing paid since my arrival, 
though I have pressed earnestly on two Assemblies for 
money for the support of the Government."* The second 

1 Colonial Papers, 1681-1686, 374, 387, 414, 473, 677 ; Provincial Papers, 
L 468, 404 ; Belknap, L 193 ; Dudley Records, 2 Proc. Mass. Hist. See. Xm. 

s Colonial Papers, 1681-1686, 676 ; Belknap, I. 202 ; Provincial Papers, 
L 626. • Colonial Papers, 1681-1686, 633, 641. 


session to which Cranfield referred was that of May, 1684. CHAP. 
But of that he wrote that he did not think it prudent to let 
them sit, for their humor was the same as when Gove took up 
arms. " They will not vote twopence for the support of the 
government,'' he continued, ^^ and the very rates of Cutt's and 
Walderne's time have been continued by us according to the 
Royal Commission, but we do not think it safe to publish it, hav- 
ing no strength to countenance our proceedings." The assem- 
bly was called together again in July to pass, at the command 
of the home government, the Jamaica act against pirates. 
After this was done it was then dissolved, and no successor 
was called. In all the assemblies of Cranfield's adminis- 
tration the son of Richard Waldron was speaker, and nearly 
the same persons were in all cases returned as members. 
No breach between the executive and the representatives 
could be more complete than that which developed at this 
time and under these circumstances in New Hampshire. 

The relations between Cranfield and his council were of 
course continuous, and they had an intimate connection with 
the conflict which he and Mason were waging with the 
people at large. Though, as has been stated, the changes at 
first were few, by the time the administration had run half 
its course the personnel of the council had been almost com- 
pletely changed. Two members had died ; Waldron, Mar- 
tyn, and Oilman were suspended. Fryer, Eliott, Hinckes,^ 
Sherlock, and Francis Champemowne were appointed. By 
this process the council was filled with persons who either 
were in league with the governor and Mason, or who would 
not oppose their policy. From the list of faithful council- 
lors several of the important offices of the province were 
filled. Either as councillors or justices of the peace, they 
acted as the principal judges in the quarter sessions of the 
province. The creation of a political machine like this was 
a familiar occurrence in the proprietary provinces. To some 
Anglicans in New Hampshire it was probably welcome. 
But to the Puritan majority, who under the guidance of 

1 Belknap, L 198 ; Ck>lonial Papers, 1681-1686, 677, 633-^84. Eliot was 
later suspended, becaose he proved onfaithfnl to the governor's cause. 


Massachusetts had hitherto monopolized political power, it 
seemed even worse than it was. 

The point about which the conflict chiefly raged was the 
territorial claims of Mason, supported as they were by the 
interest and authority of the governor. Writs were first 
issued against Major Waldron, charging him with trespass 
and with keeping Mason, the proprietor, out of possession of 
various tracts of land at Dover and other places.^ Similar 
process was instituted against Vaughan, Stileman, and the 
other principal landholders of the province. Waldron at the 
first trial challenged all the jurors as interested persons, 
because some of them held leases of Mason and the others 
lived on land which Mason claimed. To break, if possible, 
the power of this charge the jurors all took an oath that they 
were not concerned in the lands in question, and should 
neither gain nor lose by the cause. Upon this Waldron said 
aloud to the people who were present, ^^ That this was a 
leading case, and that if he were cast they must all become 
tenants to Mason; and that, all persons in the province being 
interested, none of them could legally be of the jury." After 
that, as the trial progressed, Waldron produced no evidence 
and made no defence whatever. The others followed his 

But this course made no impression on either court or 
jury. Verdicts favorable to Mason were rendered in every 
case, and suits were tried in rapid succession. It is stated, 
on the best authority, that a standing jury was kept for the 
purpose from month to month. Vaughan, writing in the 
winter of 1684, says, " The actions go on, and are turned off 
hand apace, twelve at a clap, after the old manner." Again, 
early in March, he writes, " The court was adjourned yester- 
day to the next month ; probably that they might levy the 
executions that are in bank before they cut out any more 
work." • Mason, however, is said to have levied only a small 
part of the executions to which he became entitled, because 

1 Belknap L 199 ; Provincial Papers, I. 467 et seq.<, 614. 
« Ibid, 603. 

« Ibid, 618, 621, 627, 638, 677. In Colonial Papers, 1681-1686, 742, are 
several depositions of friends of Mason concerning these trials. 


there were few or none to whom he could sell or lease the chap. 
lands when they came into his possession. It was indeed ^^' 
publicly stated on his authority that very few came to 
him to take deeds for land which was already in their 
possession. With an appearance of fairness Mason offered 
to waive the advantages which he had gained through 
favorable judgments, and, under proper security, to submit 
the cases to trial in Westminster Hall. None, however, 
except Vaughan, appealed to England, and he lost his 

Suit was also brought against Richard Martyn, formerly 
treasui*er and one of those whom Cranfield had suspended 
from the council, for fines and forfeitures which he had re- 
ceived while in office, and judgment with costs was recovered 
against him for nearly X80. Martyn appealed to Mason 
as chancellor for relief, and a decree was issued, that the 
sum should be assessed proportionally upon the surviving 
members of the late council and the heirs of those who had 
died. This was afterwards reversed by the king in council.* 
In connection with all the suits which were brought the 
highest possible rates of fees were collected. 

Having assumed practically full legislative power, the gov- 
ernor and council prohibited vessels from Massachusetts en- 
tering port, because that colony did not enforce the acts of 
trade. They also raised the value of silver money — the 
Spanish and Mexican coins which were in circulation — from 
6«. 8d. to 6«. per ounce, hoping thereby to bring more money 
into the province. They changed the bounds of towns. 
They not only ordered the continuance of taxes, but also 
that constables should forbear collecting town or parish 
rates until those of the province were paid. Many orders 
relating to minor affairs, though within the customary sphere 
of executive action, were issued.' William Vaughan and 
other citizens, for various acts of opposition or resistance 
to the measures of the government, were imprisoned and ^ 

1 Provincial Papers, 1. 476, 476, 674 ; Colonial Papers, 1686-1688, 208, 800. 
3 Colonial Papers, 1681-1685, 741 ; ibid. 1685-1688, 208, 301 ; Provincial 
Papers, I. 474, 502, 531 ; Belknap, I. 200. 

« Provincial Papers, I. 480, 488 ; Belknap, I. 201. 

VOL. Ill — 2 a 


PART detained there for indefinite periods, as a convenient method 
^^' by which to relieve the governor of their interference. 

But the most remarkable feature of Cranfield's policy was 
his attack on the clergy of the province in the person of Rev. 
Joshua Moody. As time passed Cranfield seems to have 
become thoroughly convinced that the clergy and Congrega- 
tionalism in general were chiefly responsible for the tendencies 
toward independence which he saw in New England. Visits 
which he made to Massachusetts helped to confirm his opin- 
ion. He became especially bitter against Harvard College, 
believing it to be a seminary of sedition and that it ought to 
be suppressed. To this subject he repeatedly returns in his 
letters and dwells on it at length.^ The ministers, wrote he, 
disapprove of the oaths of allegiance and supremacy as unlaw- 
ful, and publish this view as a part of their doctrine. It 
speaks well for Cranfield's intelligence that he saw so clearly 
the source of the special trend in New England politics. But 
he had nothing to offer as a remedy, except the silencing of 
the ministers and a thoroughgoing sacramental test for all 
office holders. For the purpose of enforcing religious uni- 
formity in New England, he would revive the acts of Eliza- 
beth which, though they mentioned the dominions, had never 
been put into force there. He would compel the ministers, 
though not in orders, to administer the sacrament according 
to the ritual of the English Church. He would have it ad- 
ministered to himself and others as Anglican communicants. 
In short, near the close of the seventeenth century and twenty 
years after the English government had signified its aban- 
donment of all idea of enforcing uniformity in the colonies, 
Cranfield advocated a revival of the policy which is attributed 
to Laud. Nothing shows his recklessness, or indicates the 
lengths to which he was prepared to go, quite so clearly as this. 
Moody, the Portsmouth minister, had from the first been 
outspoken in his opposition to the new autocratic regime. 
He had already had one or two encounters with Cranfield, 
and it was known that his advice was sought by leaders of the 
opposition.^ The governor began with an effort to secure 

1 Colonial Papers, 1681-1686, 576 et seq. 

< Belknap, L 204 ; Provincial Papers, I. 482-487, 520. 


an observance of Christmas and of the 80th of January. CHAP. 
Then he issued an order that the ministers should admit to v 
the Lord's Supper all persons who were of suitable years and 
not vicious, and their children to baptism; to all who desired 
to receive the sacrament according to the English form it 
should be administered, and any clergyman who refused so 
to do should suffer the penalty specified in the act of uni- 
formity. Cranfield then, on behalf of himself. Mason, and 
Hinckes, required Moody to administer the sacrament to 
them. The clergyman, as was expected, refused. An in- 
formation, based on the statutes of Elizabeth, was then 
drawn against him by the attorney general, and he was 
arrested and brought to trial in the quarter sessions. Moody 
plead that he was not in orders ; that he did not receive his 
maintenance according to the statutes; that the alleged 
statutes were not intended for the plantations, liberty of 
conscience being enjoyed there and confirmed by the gov- 
ernor's commission. But after the exertion of some pressure 
a majority of the justices were brought to condemn him, and 
he was sentenced to six months' imprisonment without bail. 
He was confined for thirteen weeks in the house of Captain 
Stileman, where he soon had Major Vaughan as a fellow 
prisoner. After his release Moody was not permitted to 
preach in New Hampshire, and soon removed to Boston, 
where he remained until 1692. No single event of Cran- 
field's administration aroused such deep and widespread 
feeling of opposition as did this. 

But in point of time the last offence which Cranfield com- 
mitted against what all the colonists considered to be their 
inherited rights was an attempt to collect taxes which had 
not been voted by a representative assembly. The effort 
was made in the spring of 1684, after the prospect of obtain- 
ing a revenue through appropriation had vanished, and when 
it had become evident that little more could be expected 
as the result of judicial pressure.^ Collection was first 
ordered through the constables, but they were able to pro- 
cure nothing. Then Thomas Thurton, the provost marshal 

1 Provincial Papers, L 400, 6i8 ; Belknap, L 214. 


FART and one of the most unscrupulous and offensive agents of the 
^- J governor, was ordered to do it with the assistance of his 
deputies and the constables. As the people still refused 
to pay, Thurton began to levy by distraint. In some cases 
cattle and goods were seized and sold at auction, and parties 
are said to have been imprisoned. At Exeter Thurton was 
resisted, and even some women threatened him with hot 
spits and scalding water. At Hampton he was beaten, his 
sword was taken away, and he was tied to a horse and, with 
a rope around his neck, was conveyed out of the province to 
Salisbury, in Massachusetts.^ The local justice found it 
impossible to procure the arrest and commitment of the 
rioters. A cavalry troop was ordered out, but not a man 
responded. The patience of the four New Hampshire towns 
had now reached its limit, and Cranfield, with his gang of 
plunderers, found himself powerless. By the natural course 
of events within the province itself his reckless career had 
come to an end. He was already writing home that the 
winters were too cold for him, and that he desired to be 
transferred to a warmer clime. 

But steps had long since been taken which were to insure 
action on the part of the home government. About the 
close of 1683 money had been raised by subscription in the 
four towns to defray the expenses of an agent to England. 
Petitions had been drawn and signed. Nathaniel Weare of 
Hampton was selected as the agent, and he quietly left the 
province for Boston, whence he sailed for Europe. Major 
Vaughan was appointed to procure depositions of later acts 
of misgovernraent and send them to Weare. It was because 
of Vaughan's connection with this, and his refusal to give 
security for his good behavior, that he was arrested and kept 
in prison for nine months. Some depositions, however, were 
procured, though witnesses had to be taken out of the prov- 
ince to be sworn. Weare, with such information as he had, 
presented his complaint, and in July, 1684, it was referred to 
the lords of trade. ^ It charged Cranfield with illegally 
erecting courts and establishing fees exclusive of the assembly; 

1 Provincial Papers, I. 649-664 ; Belknap, I. 216. 

> Provincial Papers, I. 616 ; Belknap, I. 217. From Wearers manoBcripts. 


with violating the provisions of his commission relating to CHAP, 
the Mason controversy by insisting that the claims should be 
decided on the spot and by interested jurors; that excessive 
fees and costs had been levied, and some who had been unable 
to pay them had been imprisoned; that others, for lack of 
money to carry on their suits, had been forced to submit; 
that the value of money had been altered; that several 
persons had been imprisoned without just cause; that the 
governor and council had assumed legislative power; that 
the governor had done his utmost to prevent the people 
from laying their complaints before the king and procuring 
the necessary evidence. 

The lords of trade, after they had received the com- 
plaint,^ sent copies of it and of the proofs which accompa- 
nied it to Cranfield. They directed him to let all persons 
have free access to the records and give them all needful 
assistance in collecting evidence against him. Thie order 
was obeyed, though complaint was made by Mason that 
town books were concealed from him, the clerks taking oath 
that they knew not where they were. Mason's suits were 
also suspended. After the collection of evidence had been 
completed, a revised indictment was sent to England and a 
hearing of the case was held before the lords of trade in 
March, 1685.a 

In April an order in council was issued which contained 
the final decision. It was that Cranfield had not pursued 
his instructions in reference to Mason's claims, but instead 
had caused courts to be held and titles to be decided in the 
province, and that with exorbitant costs. He had also 
exceeded his power in regulating the value of coin. As 
Cranfield had already requested leave of absence and it had 
been granted, no further action was taken. He returned to 
England by the way of Jamaica, and was subsequently ap- 
pointed to the coUectorship of Barbadoes. Walter Baref oote, 
who was the deputy, became acting governor, and held the 
place until Dudley's commission as president of New Eng- 
land arrived. 

1 Provincial Papers, I. 562. 

< Colonial Papers, 1685-1688, 28 ; Belknap, L 220. 




When, as the result of the accession of James, Duke of 
York, to the throne, New York became a royal province, 
a new commission, with accompanying instructions, was is- 
sued to Governor Dongan.^ They bore dates in May and 
June, 1686. In general character they were the same as 
those which had recently been issued to the governors of 
Virginia and New Hampshire, except that no provision was 
made for an assembly. As we shall see, they were exactly 
reproduced in the commissions and instructions which were 
issued to Andros in 1686 and 1688 as governor general of 
the dominion of New England. This extension of this type 
of commission and instructions fully confirmed and established 
it as the one which was to be followed in the royal provinces 
throughout the eighteenth century. In these documents rea- 
sonably uniform principles of government were laid down and 
such as were in harmony with English sovereignty and law. 
A uniform administrative system in harmony with them was 
what the British officials sought to substitute for the variety 
and crudities which were so conspicuous among the chartered 
colonies. It is a suggestive fact that the royal system agreed 
better with conditions which existed in New York than with 
those of any other colony. Having regard both to the com- 
mission and the instructions, the following were the principles 
which they set forth — and with modifications to fit local 
and temporary dififerences the description will apply to all 
the provinces which passed under royal control. 

In all possible ways the authority of the king was to be 
recognized; officials, from the governor down, held directly 
or indirectly by his appointment; if the governor suspended a 
councillor he should at once notify the king of the reasons; 

1 N. Y. CoL Doca. IH. 369, 877, 882. 



the oath of allegiance and appropriate official oaths were to CHAP, 
be administered to all office holders; periodical reports were ^^ 
to be made by the governor to the lords of trade concerning 
all affairs of government, and minutes of the proceedings of 
the council were required to be sent to England; reports 
concerning matters of finance were to go with vouchers to 
the officers of the royal treasury; appropriations of revenue 
were always to be made to the king and all writs should run in 
his name; no fines or forfeitures amounting to more than £10, 
and no escheats, should be remitted till the lord high treasurer 
was notified and directions about the matter were given; no 
grant should be made or act done whereby the revenue was 
lessened without special permission; money should be paid 
out of the treasury only under the warrant of the governor ; 
no new court or judicial office should be established without 
the king's special order; alterations in the value of the coin 
were placed under the same restriction. These are typical 
of requirements which meet one at every step, and they were 
all intended as guaranties of English sovereignty. 

Conformity with the law of England, so far as local con- 
ditions would permit, was equally prominent and was the 
chief kindred object that was sought. In a way this pur- 
pose was facilitated by concentrating authority in the hands 
of the executive and excluding an assembly from the system. 
The governor and council, however, were given the power to 
legislate, as well as to issue ordinances. The prior legisla- 
tion of the colonies where royal government was established 
was considered as still in force, though it was subject to 
modification or repeal in parts by acts of the governor and 
council. In like manner existing revenue should be con- 
tinued until new taxes were levied. The membership of 
the councils was often twelve, though it was considerably 
larger in the case of New England. They were selected 
from among the freeholders, thrifty men and well affected 
to the government. The quorum was usually five or seven. 
The possible number by whom the most important business 
was done was therefore small and necessarily subject to 
g^at influence by the governor. And yet the members 
were promised freedom of speaking and voting. The form 


FART of enactment was ^^by the goyemor and council." In order 
to insure agreement with the laws of England, all acts, 
within three months after their passage, must be sent to 
England for approval or disallowance. In the instructions 
it was declared that no man's life, freehold, or goods should 
be taken except according to law, but this was far from 
being an effective protection. The maintenance of the su- 
premacy of English law was also sought through the system 
of appeals in civil suits, first to the governor and council, and 
finally, in cases involving more than £300, to the king in 
council in England. Security must be given to meet all 
charges which might accrue. The power of reprieve, and 
pardon in criminal cases, subject when necessary to review 
by the home government, was reserved to the governor. 

Military authority was bestowed on the governor, without 
express mention of the council. It included the power to 
levy, arm, muster, and command the entire militia of the 
province and all its force by sea and land. A system of 
training was to be maintained, and an inventory of arms 
and stores should annually be sent to England. The mili- 
tia was to be used not simply within the province, but might 
also be sent to other colonies for their protection. By this 
provision, repeated as it was in later instructions, an impor- 
tant step was taken to overcome the particularism which 
appears in the laws of some of the chartered colonies and 
in the practice of nearly all of them. Authority was given 
to the governor to build and demolish forts, to furnish them 
with ordnance, and to execute martial law within the prov- 
ince. Vice admiralty powers were bestowed on the gov- 
ernor in great fulness, but they were not to extend to 
offences committed on the high seas or by persons serving 
on royal ships of war. 

The governor was required to promote trade, including 
that with the Indians; to check monopoly, but at the same 
time to enforce all the provisions of the acts of trade and 
prevent traffic with the territories of the Royal African 
company. Land in moderate quantities should be bought 
from the Indians. Treaties should be observed and special 
means taken to suppress pirates. The governor was also 


empowered to grant land at a moderate quit rent, to estab- CHAP, 
lish markets, fairs, and ports, and to cause the erection of ^__ 
custom houses and storehouses. 

In provinces where, as in Virginia or New York, the 
Church of England was favored or established, the governor 
was commanded to foster its worship, cause parishes to be 
formed, uphold the jurisdiction which was becoming fixed 
in the hands of the bishop of London, collate to benefices, 
grant licenses for marriage and probate of wills, have a care 
for the orthodoxy of schoolmasters, uphold good morals and 
punish their opposite. In New York and New England the 
press, if there was one, was placed under a strict censorship. 
Intelligent conformity in all these details was sought, though 
by no means always attained, through regular correspondence 
with the officers in London. 

Among the first matters of business which came before 
Dongan as royal governor was the duty of replying to the 
queries sent by the home government concerning the condi- 
tion of the province.^ His replies on many points were very 
detailed. He outlined the judicial system as regulated by 
the acts of assembly. The bills which had been passed 
during the last session he sent to England with his repoi*t 
on the state of the province. The defences of the province 
are described. But upon the revenues and expenditures the 
governor went into the greatest detail. In connection with 
this subject he urged the annexation of Connecticut and the 
Jerseys to New York, a subject to which he recurred in 
nearly every letter which he sent to England. 

New York in the seventeenth and early eighteenth centu- 
ries ranked among the smaller colonies. It comprised, in 
addition to the three islands and the Westchester region in 
its southern part, only a narrow strip of settled country on 
either bank of the Hudson. Its form was unfortunate, while 
at the same time its central location made it a favorite ob- 
ject of attack both from the north and the south. Dongan 
never ceased to argue that the resources of New York as it 
was, with its sparse population, its limited area, its rocky soil 

1 N. Y. Col. Docs. m. 889. 


FART and mountainous character, were inadequate to sustain the 
^^' J burdens which rested upon it. He perceived that it occu- 
pied the central position in the chain of English colonies 
which now extended along the coast. Upon it rested chiefly 
the task of maintaining Indian alliances and of regulating 
dealings with the French. Should war with Canada ever 
occur, New York would surely be a chief object of attack. 
Dongan was already seeking to establish trade relations with 
the Indians beyond Niagara, and thus to break up the mo- 
nopoly of the French and thwart their plans of territorial 
expansion. To him the rivalry of the French and English 
for the possession of North America was a present fact. He 
thought and acted continentally. The possibility of a con- 
flict he clearly perceived. To his mind New York seemed 
to be the pivot on which hung the fortunes of the English 
cause. He therefore deplored the fact that the ancient 
bounds of New Netherland had not been retained as the 
limits of New York. Dongan insisted upon the advantages 
of uniting Connecticut with New York, instead of with New 
England, as the changes which were in progress seemed 
almost to have assured. He dwAt upon the loss to the 
revenue of New York and its Indian trade which was 
caused by the independence of the Jerseys. Smuggling 
was facilitated, traders were attracted to the ports of the Jer- 
seys, because there no customs duties were levied. He was 
not in favor of making Perth Amboy a port and stationing 
a customs officer there, for all the business, he thought, could 
better be done at New York. 

Dongan deplored the establishment of Pennsylvania as a 
distinct province. He feared its influence on the peltry trade 
of New York. He could not believe that it ever could have 
been the king's intention to grant away so much territory 
which had been a part of New Netherland. He desired that 
a strip of land between the Delaware and Susquehanna 
rivers, about twenty-five miles broad, might be taken from 
Pennsylvania and given to New York. In that region he 
also asked permission to erect two forts which he apparently 
considered almost as necessary to the preservation of the 
interest of New York in the fur trade as would be a fort at 


Niagara. He also suggested the importance of restoring the CHAP. 
Delaware Lower Counties to New York, so that their tobacco ^ ^^ 
might be brought to Manhattan without duty and thence 
shipped to Europe. Even after these territories had been 
separated from his province, Penn, it was conjectured, would 
have a larger area than all England. These arguments 
were quite in harmony with the plans which were already 
about matured in England to unite the northern colonies 
into a great dominion of which New York must necessarily 
become the centre. Andros, during his administration, had 
cherished and expressed the same ideas, though perhaps in 
less detailed form.^ 

In his discussion of the revenue, Dongan began with an 
account of the customs and excise. Coming to the quit rents, 
after stating that in most of the patents which were granted 
by his predecessors either no quit rent or a very inconsider- 
able one had been reserved, he stated that he had secured 
the renewal of many grants with increased rent. ^^The 
methods that I took for the obliging them to this was find- 
ing several Tracts of Land in their Townshipps not pur- 
chased of the Indians and soe at his Majesty's disposal. 
They were willing rather to submit to a greater Quit-Rent, 
than have that unpurchased land disposed of to others than 
themselves." ^ " It is likewise true," he again wrote, " that I 
have called in former Patents and still continue to doe soe, 
that I might see by what Tenure they hold their lands, which 
I find generally to bee by none, they paying no acknowledg- 
ment to the King. Whereupon being convinced of that 
defect by the resolution of ye Judges the people for their 
own ease and quiet and that of their Posterity which other- 
wise might have fallen imder the lash of succeeding Gov- 
ernors, without the least murmuring have renewed their 
Patents, with a reservation of a certain Quit- Rent to the 
King to the noe small advancement of his Revenue, and this 
done with general satisfaction and of which none will in the 
least complain but on the contrary express themselves thank- 
ful for it." » 

1 N. T. CoL Docs. m. 416. * Ibid. 401. • Ibid. 412. 


PART Xhe receiver and collector during more than three years 
V ' J before the time when Dongan made his report, was Lucas 
Santen. He held office under a patent first from the duke 
and later from the king. He appears to have been an ex- 
tremely inefficient officer, and Dongan was compelled to as- 
sume to an extent the direct management of the finances, in 
order to save them from the direst confusion. He tried to 
treat Santen kindly, but found him totally unfit for business 
and as dependent as a child upon the direction of others. 
The interference of the governor, however, deeply offended 
the collector, provoked him to outbursts of passion, and 
finally led him to submit a long series of charges against 
Dongan to the authorities in England. Dongan found 
no difficulty in answering the complaints, and in doing 
so he threw some light on certain phases of colonial ad- 

Dongan found that collectors and receivers were appointed 
for Albany,^ Esopus, Long Island, and the counties of Rich- 
mond, Westchester, Dukes, and Cornwall. These were ap- 
pointed, in part at least, by the collector, but owing to Santen's 
inefficiency the tendency was for the governor to assume the 
appointment of them all. Robert Livingston owed his ap- 
pointment at Albany at this time to the governor. For three 
years the collector at Esopus had not accounted, and when 
he was forced to appear before the council, plead that his 
papers, together with much of the corn and peltry which he 
had received for the excise, customs, and quit rents, had been 
burned with his house. All that could be obtained from 
him was a bond for the payment of £200. From Richmond 
no account had been submitted. Santen had obtained two 
bonds from the collector of Westchester payable in March, 
1687; but as the collector was so poor as to have "hardly 
bread to put into his mouth," Dongan considered his bonds 
worthless and that the revenue from Westchester was a total 
loss. During the first year of his administration only X62 
was reported as the yield of the excise on Long Island. As 
this was the most populous section of the province, where 

1 N. Y. Col. Docs. IIL 401 tt aeq. 


mncli mm was consumed, Dongan considered this sum to be CHAP, 
absurdly small. He therefore appointed Nicolls and Vaughan v ' i 
collectors of this tax on Long Island, with the agreement 
that they should receive £40 and account for the remainder 
with Santen. Apparently this worked well as a temporary 
expedient, but for the next two years a collector was 
appointed on a salary. His accounts were submitted and 
duly audited. So were those from Dukes county and Corn- 

The people at the east end of Long Island the governor 
found engaged in active trade with New England and un- 
willing to enter and clear at New York. The oil which 
they procured from the whale industry was sent to New 
England ports and exchanged for European goods. To 
check this evil Dongan caused the passage of an act imposing 
a duty of two per cent, on goods which were imported from 
any colony where they were not produced. Of the effect of 
this curious application of one of the principles embodied in 
the English navigation act we are not informed. But in 
pursuance of a concession to the towns, a port was established 
at the east end of the island and an officer was appointed 
to enter and clear vessels and collect duties. 

** The first year," ^ wrote Dongan, " I left everything to 
the care of Mr. Santen and what officers hee thought fit to 
put in, but afterwards, finding things ill managed, I spoke to 
Mr. Santen several times, advising him as a friend to look 
better to the trust reposed in him. . . . After the expiration 
of the year I desired him to bring in his accounts that they 
might be audited, which hee promised me from time to time 
but in such manner as was not fit for him, for always when I 
spoke to him of monys and accompts, hee flew into a passion. 
Upon which I ordered him that since hee had no better Gov- 
ernment of himself hee should refrain coming into my com- 
pany. And after I frequently sent to him by the Secretary 
for his accts, who likewise met with the like dilatory answers. 
Upon which I had him brought before the Council 3 or 4 
times, where he was often ordered to bring in his acct* but 

1 N. Y. Col. Docs. in. 402. 


PART all to noe purpose, for upwards of a year together, as your 
Lordships may see by the time of the Audit and by the sev- 
eral Orders of Council herewith sent. 

*^ At last when his acct* came I shewed them to the Coun- 
cil who were mightily surprised that for eighteen months 
& upwards the Revenue should amount but to 3000 and odd 
pounds. Upon which I had them audited and thereby it 
was found that a great many frauds had been done to the 
king as your Lordships may see by the said Audit & the 
charge brought in and proved ag* Mr. Santen." 

" After the Audit of his first accompts," continues Dongan, 
^* his others were demanded, and with the same deficiency as 
the former, obtained, as your Lordships may perceive by the 
said Minutes of Councils particularly the order of payment 
every Saturday, which was occasioned thus. The Council 
considering how dilatory Mr. Santen was & with what diffi- 
culty he would be brought to account, being satisfied that 
Mr. Santen was then behind hand in his payments and that 
in process of time he might bee yet more, so for the prevent- 
ing of further imbezlement of his Majesty's Revenue, they 
ordered him that every Saturday hee should accompt with 
& pay into mee what hee had received the proceeding week, 
which was a method taken in the time of Sir Edmund 
Andros with Captain Dyer the then collector on the like 
occasion, tho' this had not the like effect through Mr. 
Santen's disobedience, for as hee did with all other orders, 
hee did with this, hee took noe notice of it." 

The council also on other occasions repeatedly ordered 
Santen to have his accounts ready to send over audited 
to England by Mr. Spragg. But though Spragg delayed 
sailing for two months, Santen refused to submit his accounts 
to Dongan for audit, insisting that he had been instructed 
by the lord treasurer that it was not necessary, but that it 
would be sufficient if he left a duplicate of the accounts 
with the governor. The council, however, fell back on 
earlier instructions, which were to the contrary effect. But 
it was to no purpose; Santen would not obey their commands 
or correct the irregularities of his administration. With 
such audit as could be got it was found that he was more 



than £1700 behind. The poor man was subject to " h3rpo- CHAP, 
condriack fitts" and was "wholy unfit for business," and ^ ^ ^ 
had it not been for Dongan's constant watchfulness, the 
revenue would have suffered much more than it did. But, 
as Santen was an appointee of the treasury, Dongan could 
not remove or apparently even suspend him. Therefore he 
turns to the king in despair, defending himself against 
Santen's charges and insisting on the latter's total incapac- 
ity. In 1687 Santen was removed and Matthew Plowman 
was appointed as his successor. 

About the time when Dongan became a royal governor, 
the Marquis de Denonville was appointed governor of Can- 
ada. He was a man of large experience, especially in mili- 
tary affairs, alert, systematic, and enthusiastic in the service 
of the king. He was sent over to repair the damage which 
had come to French interests through the weakness and mis- 
management of De la Barre. He was told in his instruc- 
tions ^ that the pride of the Iroquois must be humbled, and 
that the Illinois and other allies of the French must receive 
support. He was informed that the governor of New York 
had undertaken to assist the Iroquois and to extend British 
dominion up to the banks of the Saint Lawrence and over 
the entire country of the Five Nations. At the same time 
M. Barillon, the French minister at the English court, was 
ordered by the king to complain that Governor Dongan 
was aiding the Iroquois, though they were subjects of 
France and their lands were a part of its territory. He was 
to demand that precise orders be sent requiring Dongan to 
confine himself within the limits of his government and to 
pursue a different line of conduct toward Denonville from 
that which he had followed toward his predecessor. By 
this act, as well as the attitude of Louis XIV and his 
ministers during his entire reign, Denonville felt assured of 
the support of his government if he pursued an aggressive 
policy. But, owing to the dissensions in England and the 
consequent dependence of James II on the French alliance, 
Dongan could not be sure of the support of his king. 

1 N. Y. Col. Docs. IX. 271. 


The governor of New York, however, did not permit him- 
self to be deterred by uncertainty concerning the attitude of 
his government from clearly asserting the claims of the Eng- 
lish on the north and northwest. In doing this he assumed 
the lead among his own people. His claims and plans as 
yet interested but very few among them. The other colo- 
nies stood wholly aloof, and probably only the few officials 
who had occasion to attend Indian conferences at Albany 
were at all aware of the interests for which Dongan was 
striving. Consciousness upon these points was developed 
and extended only after a long conflict over the questions 
which Dongan fii*st propounded. He claimed the entire 
Iroquois country as within the sphere of influence of the 
English. In consequence of that claim he considered inva- 
sions of that country by the French for the purpose of pun- 
ishing the Iroquois as unwarranted and a menace to English 
interests. Of the presence of Jesuit missionaries among the 
Indians he was intensely suspicious, for he knew them to be 
most effective political emissaries as well, forerunners of 
French influence and rule. He desired that among the 
Iroquois their place might be taken by English missionaries. 
He longed to see an English commercial and military out- 
post established at Niagara. He was already sending Eng- 
lish and Dutch traders to the Ottawas and other tribes of 
the Northwest for the purpose of diverting their trade from 
the French. He insisted that the Five Nations should bring 
their quarrels with the French to Albany for settlement. 
Through the English as their overlords disputes with all 
parties should as far as possible be adjusted. 

That Denonville was keenly alive both to the realities and 
the possibilities of the Anglo-Indian alliance, is shown by his 
letters to the French ministers. In October, 1686, he wrote 
to Seignelay ^ that he was certain Dongan had called together 
the Iroquois at Fort Orange for the purpose of inciting them 
against the French. Arms and ammunition were being pre- 
sented to them for use against the French. Efforts were 
being made to draw the Praying Indians of Montreal away 

1 N. Y. Col. Docs. IX. 296, 297. 


from their allies. "Colonel Dongan's letters," continues chap. 
the French governor, " will notify you sufficiently of his pre- ^^' 
tensions, which extend no less than from the lakes, inclusive, 
to the South Sea. Missilimackinac is theirs. They have taken 
its latitude; they have been to trade there with our Ottawas 
and Huron Indians, who received them cordially on account 
of the bargains they gave, by selling their merchandise for 
beaver which they purchased at a much higher rate than we. 
Unfortunately we had but yery few Frenchmen at Missili- 
mackinac at that time. M. de la Durantaye, on arriving 
there, wanted to pursue the English to pillage them. The 
Hurons were hastening to escort them after having expressed 
a great many impertinences against us. Sieur de la Duran- 
taye did not overtake the Indians who met the English on 
their way to join and escort them through Lakes Erie and 
Ontario, until they should be beyond all danger of an attack 
from us. Thus you easily perceive. My Lord, that the Eng- 
lish and the Senecas understand each other wonderfully well 
and are perfectly agreed." 

Similar claims were in every instance urged by the French. 
They claimed the Mohawk valley as their territory, and vast 
stretches of country beyond it as well. They cited, in sup- 
port of the claim, dealings of their missionaries and traders 
and officials with the Iroquois since the time of Champlain,^ 
including a series of treaties with them. La Salle had 
temporarily established a post at Niagara. The Iroquois had 
been required to treat only at Montreal or Quebec. In- 
vasions subsequent to these events of the country south of 
Lake Ontario did not violate, they said, the rights of any 
foreign power. In dealings with the western Indians the 
French had anticipated the English by sixty years. "In 
respect to the pretensions which you say you bore^ to the 
lands of this country," wrote Denonville, " certainly you are 
not well informed of all the acts of occupancy which have 
been performed in the name of the King my Master, and of 
the establishments of long standing which we have on the 
land and on the lakes."' No overlapping of claims could be 

1 N. Y. Col. Docs. IX. 879. « Ibid. HL 469. 

VOL. Ill — 2b 


PART more complete than this, and no officials were ever more con- 
scions of the fact and more determined, though both of the 
Catholic faith, to defend their pretensions by any means 
short of war. Both, of course, repeatedly declared that the 
final decision rested with their masters in Europe. 

As the Senecas were rapidly destroying the Elinois, were 
disturbing the peace of other western tribes, and were trying 
to win them away from the French alliance, Denonville was 
determined from the first to make war upon them. They 
should be severely pimished. Thus French influence, which 
had suffered greatly from De la Barre's failure, would be 
strengthened throughout the region of the Great Lakes, 
and the way would be opened for the reestablishment of 
the post at Niagara. But Denonville was aware that 
Dongan was supplying the Iroquois with all the arms and 
ammunition they wanted, and charged him with directly 
inciting them to attack the French. This, however, the 
English governor stoutly and repeatedly denied. Still, to 
counteract the intrigues of the English, Father Lamberville 
and other priests were employed to distribute presents 
among the Iroquois and the western tribes. 

Denonville found Canada in an almost defenceless con- 
dition. He saw that forts and blockhouses must be built. 
But he feared to build them, lest he should bring down 
the Iroquois upon him before he was in a condition to fight. 
In his perplexity he appealed to the French government 
for troops. " The principal affair at present," he wrote to 
Seignelay, " is the security of this Colony, which is in evi- 
dent danger of perishing if the Iroquois be let alone, and 
also if we make war and have not a decided advantage 
over them; and however decided our advantage may be, 
the people, separated as they are, will always be in danger. 
Yet, my Lord, if you aid us with troops, war will be the 
least inconvenience; for if we wage it not, I do not believe 
the next year will pass away without the whole trade 
being absolutely lost; our friendly Indians revolting against 
us and placing themselves at the mercy of the Iroquois, 
more powerful, perhaps better armed than any of them. 
The whole of the Hurons are awaiting only for the 


moment to do so. Had I not by Father de Lamberville's CHAP, 
care fortunately avoided war from the very beginning of ^ ' j 
this ye^r, not a single canoe would have come down from 
the forests without being taken and plundered in the 
River of the Ottawas. We should have lost a great number 
of good men."^ 

Denonville received no assistance from home, but never- 
theless continued preparations for war, opening meantime a 
correspondence with Dongan. This began with the custom- 
ary civilities, Dongan writing in French, and referring briefly 
to his experience with De la Barre. Denonville replied, 
excusing De la Barre because he had to deal with the Sen- 
ecas, a " people who have neither religion, nor honor, nor 
subordination." They had falsified their pledges by the 
many acts of violence which they had committed against the 
Ottawas. Still, in spite of their evil conduct, the French 
king desired to win them over to Christianity, and therefore 
had sent missionaries among them to preach the gospel. He 
then adroitly urged upon Dongan the idea that they should 
unite in supporting the work of the Jesuits among the 
Iroquois. "Shall we. Sir, be so unfortunate as to refuse 
them our Master's protection to sustain them and to contrib- 
ute a little on our part to win poor souls to Jesus Christ, 
by aiding them to overcome the enemy of God who rules 
them ? No, Sir, it is impossible for you but to groan when 
you perceive that so far from assisting those Apostles of the 
Gospel, we wage war against them, if we allow their enemies 
to obstruct their converting these poor people to the Faith." * 

But this appeal met with no response from Dongan except 
polite phrases. Catholic though he was, it was as far as 
possible from his intention to give the work of the Jesuits 
among the Iroquois any support. His attention was directed 
to the collection of military stores by the French at Cataraqui, 
and to the rumors that they intended to build a fort at Ni- 
agara. Reports of this had been brought to him by a French 
coureur de boi%^ who had deserted to Albany. " I know," 
Dongan wrote, ^^ you are a man of judgment, and that you 

1 N. Y. Col. Docs. IX. 208, 801. « Ibid. IIL 466. 


PART will not attack the King of England's subjects/* He also 
felt assured that Denonville, "for a little peltry," would 
not raise a disturbance among the Indians in that part of the 
world, who were dependent upon the two crowns. He pro- 
fessed that he was laboring to prevent the Five Nations going 
beyond the Great Lakes and attacking the French traders or 
their Indians. Everything could be settled by amicable cor- 
respondence, and by reference to the authorities at home. " If 
there be anything wrong, I doe assure you it shall not be my 
fault, tho we have suffered much, and doe dayly by your 
people's trading within the King of England's territoryes." 

Denonville denied, though not in precise terms, that he 
intended to build a fort at Niagara. He advised Dongan, if 
they were to live on good terms, not to protect deserters or 
believe the reports which they circulated. To this Dongan 
replied, "The strictest care should be taken concerning 
runaways from you, and those who are here, if you please to 
send for them, shall be all conveyed to you." ^ 

But no steps were taken to send the deserters back to 
Canada, while reports continued to be circulated that Don- 
gan was urging the Iroquois to attack the French. This 
drew from Denonville a sharp letter of protest.^ " You were 
so good, Sir," he wrote, " as to tell me that you will give up 
all the deserters who, to escape the chastisement of their 
knavery, have fled to you ; yet, Sir, you cannot but know 
those who are there. But as they are all for the most part 
bankrupts and thieves, I hope that they will finally give you 
cause to repent having afforded them shelter, and that your 
merchants who employ them will be punished for having 
confided in rogues who will not be more faithful to them 
than they have been to our people." '* You proposed. Sir," 
he continued, " to submit everything to the decision of our 
masters, nevertheless your emissary to the Onnontagues 
[Onondagas] told all the Nations, in your name, to pillage 
and make war on us. It is a thing so notorious that it 
cannot be doubted, and will be aflSrmed in the presence of 
your emissary. Whether it was done by your order or 

1 N. Y. Col. Docs. III. 466-460. « Ibid. 461. 


through the influence of your merchants at Orange, it has CHAP, 
been said and done, and you are not a stranger to the ^^^ 
enterprise of your merchants against Michilimaquina Mich- 
ilimackinac.*'^ He then denounced Dongan for furnishing 
the savages with liquor, which converted them into " demons 
and their cabins into counterparts of hell." 

In Dongan's reply ^ he denied all the charges, and in re- 
gard to the liquor asserted that **our Rum doth as little 
hurt as your Brandy and in the opinion of Christians is 
much more wholesome." But at the same time he was striv- 
ing as hard as ever to checkmate the French. In 1685 
Johannes Rooseboom of Albany had been sent at the head of 
a body of armed traders in eleven canoes to carry English 
goods to the upper lakes. The enterprise was successful 
and they were urged by the Indians to come every year. 
Denonville sent an oflScer to Detroit to stop them, but they 
returned in safety. But in June, 1686, Denonville sent an 
order to Du Lhut, who wa^ at Michilimackinac, to occupy 
Detroit with fifty coureurs de boi%. This was obeyed, and a 
stockade was built on the western side of the strait, near the 
outlet of Lake Huron. Thus Dongan's plans respecting 
that strategic point were defeated. 

In the autumn of 1686 Rooseboom was sent out again,' 
this time with twenty or more canoes. He was instructed to 
winter among the Senecas. Major Patrick McGregory was 
then commissioned to leave Albany in the spring with a body 
of armed men. McGregory, it was arranged, should meet 
Rooseboom in the Senecas' country, and the combined parties, 
accompanied by a number of Iroquois Indians, should visit the 
country of the Ottawas. Though they were ordered to re- 
turn to Albany without disturbing the French, the evident 
purpose of the expedition was to establish permanent trade 
relations and alliances with tribes of the Northwest. 

When news of this move reached him, Denonville wrote* 
to Seignelay that he had a mind " to go straight to Albany, 
storm their fort and burn everything." " The English stir 

1 N. Y. Col. Docs. IX. 308. « Ibid, III. 462. 

» Brodhead, History of New York, II. 429, 443 ; N. Y. Col. Docs. IIL 
476 ; IX. 306, 318. « Pftrkman, Frontenac, 129. 


PART up the Iroquois against us, and send parties to Michilimackinac 
. . to rob us of our trade. It would be better to declare war 

against them than to perish by their intrigues/' His pro- 
tests to Dongan only drew from him the reply,^ ^* Bee assured, 
Sir, that I have not solicited nor bribed the Indians to arme 
and make warr against you. . . • I have forbidden their join- 
ing (if they should bee entreated) with any others against 
you ; neither have I ever allowed any plunder. I have only 
permitted several of Albany to trade amongst the remotest 
Indians with strict orders not to meddle with any of your 
people ; and I hope they will finde the same civillity from 
you. It being so far from pillaging that I believe it is as 
lawfull for the English as French nations to trade there, we 
being nearer by many leagues than you are.'* He wished to 
be furnished with the authority for the statement that he 
had ordered the Indians to plunder and fight the French. 
His disclaimer in the case was doubtless true, as was his 
profession that he did not understand the references to an 
English expedition to Michilimackinac. As to the deserters, 
Dongan knew not who they were, but, " Rascalls and Bank- 
routs " as they were said to be, upon a requisition from 
Canada he would be glad to send them home. 

With the summer of 1687 this fruitless correspondence 
was interrupted by the expedition of Denonville, with a 
large force of French and Indians, into the country of the 
Senecas. The Indians retired before him, and all that he 
directly accomplished against them was the destruction of 
their harvest and some of their villages. Indirectly, how- 
ever, the expedition had some important results. While the 
French were busy at Michilimackinac gathering their west- 
ern allies for the war, the traders and Indians under Roose- 
boom approached. They were at once surrounded by a 
large body of French and Indians and forced to surrender. 
Their goods were seized and given to the Indians. Later, 
McGregory with his party, who had separated from Roose- 
boom, were captured between Detroit ^ and Niagara. All 
were taken to lower Canada as prisoners, while their cap- 

1 N. Y. Col. Docs. IIL 462. « Ibid. Ul. 436. 


ture caused a revulsion of feeling among the Indians in CHAP, 
favor of the French. The western Indians now flocked to ^^ ^ 

the standard of Denonville, and were present in large num- 
bers with his expedition. 

The apparent triumph of the French over the Senecas 
was also utilized for the purpose of establishing the claim 
of conquest over that country.^ Proclamation of this was 
made by Denonville in the presence of his forces, and the 
arms of the king of France were ordered to be set up 
throughout the country. Permanent possession was also 
taken of Niagara, buildings were erected by the French near 
the mouth of the river and a small body of men was posted 
there. Thus the plans of Dongan were thwarted both at 
Detroit and Niagara. 

Before the French governor set out upon his expedition 
into the Seneca country news had arrived of the conclusion 
at Whitehall of the treaty of neutrality of November, 1686,^ 
between England and France. This was intended to se- 
cure peace between the subjects of both kings in America ; 
even though war should break out between the two nations 
in Europe. It provided that neither party should assist the 
Indians with whom the other might be at war, that they 
should not fish or trade in each other's territories, and that 
unlicensed privateers should be punished as pirates. Inas- 
much as in the treaty no acknowledgment was obtained 
from France that the Iroquois were English subjects, the 
French must be considered to have secured the greatest 
advantages. But Dongan showed no immediate disposition 
to heed its requirements, for when the Senecas appealed to 
the authorities at Albany for aid, abundance of arms and 
ammunition were furnished them. These they used in their 
effort to withstand the French a few weeks later. Of this 
fact Denonville took due notice in his letters home.* 

In August following the expedition of Denonville into 
the Seneca country, Dongan sent Captain John Palmer to 
England with despatches.^ In these he informed the gov- 

1 N. Y. Col. Docs. IX. 334, 336. 

s Duinont, Corps Diplomatique, VIL> 141 ; Brodhead, II. 476. 

» N. Y. Col. Docs. IX 347. * Ibid. III. 428, 476. 


FART ernment of what bad occurred and also that the French were 
encroaching on the Five Nations as fast as they could. He 
insisted that forts should be built on Lake Champlain, at 
Salmon River, at Niagara, and similar posts between Sche- 
nectady and Lake Ontario. The northern boundary should 
be settled. English priests should be sent to live among 
the Five Nations. Immigrants from Ireland should be sent 
over to people the disputed country and thus secure it for 
the English. Various measures of defence were taken at 
the same time by the governor and council in New York,^ 
while Dongan arranged to spend the winter of 1687-1688 
in Albany. 

When Palmer reached London, negotiations were in prog- 
ress between French and English commissioners over the 
execution of the treaty of neutrality and the establishment 
of the boundaries.* The French repeated their complaints 
against Dongan and their demands that he be ordered to 
cease disturbing the French. Since Andros, in the spring of 
1688, had captured Saint Castin's post at Pentagoet, the re- 
quest was made that the same command might be sent to him. 
But Dongan's despatches revealed the danger which threat- 
ened English interests and led to a firm reply being made to 
French claims. The right of England to the Iroquois 
country was reasserted. 

But it soon became evident that Dongan had acted in 
harmony with the real desires of his government. A warrant * 
from the king was sent to Dongan, authorizing him to con- 
tinue to protect the Five Nations. He was required to in- 
form the governor of Canada that England owned the Five 
Nations to be its subjects and had resolved to protect them. 
In case the people of Canada should continue to annoy these 
Indians and invade the dominions of England, Dongan was 
empowered, if need be, to resist such invasion with all the 
military force of the province, and to pursue them as far as 
might be necessary. The first suggestion from the English 
government of its resolve, if it were necessary, to secure the 

1 Mb8. Council Minates. > N. Y. CoL Docs. IIL 606-610. 

s Ibid, m. 603. 


cooperation of the other colonies in the defence of New York, CHAP, 
appears in the authority which was given to Dongan by this y ' j 
document to call on the governors for such aid. He was also 
empowered to build forts and other defences at all places 
where they seemed to be necessary. 

After the return of the French from their expedition some 
more sharp but ineffective correspondence passed between 
Dongan and Denonville; McGregory and his associates were 
released and sent back to Albany. Two envoys were also 
sent thither by Denonville to negotiate concerning the ques- 
tions in dispute. But all this was futile. The interviews 
merely served to relieve the monotony of Dongan's winter 
sojourn at Albany. While they were in progress he held a 
friendly conference with representatives of the Five Nations. 
He also applied to Maryland for aid, presumably also to the 
other colonies as far south as Virginia. Dongan states that a 
force of six hundred men from New England had been prom- 
ised ; but Maryland replied that when she received an order 
direct from the king, it would be obeyed.^ Neither party 
was inclined to recede. Thus affairs stood, so far as rela- 
tions with Canada were concerned, when New York became 
a part of the great dominion which James II was forming. 

1 Md. Arch., Froceedings of Conndl, 1688-1698, 26-29. 



FART In the revocation of the Massachusetts charter and the 
V ' J events which led up to it the forces which determined the 
course of American colonial history appear in unusually clear 
relief. On the one side we have a community of religious 
nonconformists whose natural trend was toward the largest 
degree of self government which was consistent with any 
recognition whatever of the supremacy of the mother state. 
This characteristic was reflected in all their institutions and 
in almost every phase of their history. On the other side 
appears an assertion of imperial authority and restraint over 
the colonies which, though seemingly moderate when first 
announced in the letters of Charles II, became, under his 
successor and in a later period of the Restoration, almost un- 
limited in scope. 

This policy, like so much in the ideals of the Stuarts, was 
as close an imitation of French models as the character of 
the English permitted; and there were those even among 
the colonists at the time who recognized it as such. Had 
these ideals prevailed, the powers of government in the colo 
nies would have been concentrated in their executives act- 
ing under strict instructions from England: the boundaries 
of the colonies, as specified in their charters, would have been 
disregarded and for governmental purposes they would have 
been combined into larger and larger unions; the affairs of the 
frontier, including relations with the Indians and everything 
which pertained to defence, would have been subjected to 
regulation, as far as possible from a single centre; every- 
where the interests of the state religion would have received 
the favor of government, though not necessarily to the 
exclusion of dissent; in commercial and industrial affairs the 
interests of the empire as a whole and as interpreted from 

the standpoint of England, would have been the cherished 



object of attention; the sphere and activities of local govern- CHAP, 
ment within the colonies would have been narrowed; and ^ ^^^ 
while the principles of English law which guarantied private 
rights would have been retained, that law would have been 
administered uniformly, from above and from relatively a 
few centres, and those varieties in detail which came from 
local and individual initiative would have been minimized or 
would gradually have disappeared. It is not probable that 
the amount and scope of parliamentary legislation affecting 
the colonies would have increased, but it would soon have 
become evident that administratively the colonies were simply 
an extension of the realm. This was the type of policy 
whose claims were now asserted as a counterpart to the 
particularism of New England and of the chartered colonies 

But the revocation of the Massachusetts charter was only 
the first step in the long process by which it was hoped that 
the established tendencies of frontier life in the colonies, 
especially those of New England, might be overcome. It 
was also the least difficult part of the task, for it had been 
possible to consummate this act in England. It must be 
followed by the like treatment of many other colonies, by 
their union, and then by the slow development of royal gov- 
ernment within the united whole. For such a task states- 
manship of a high order was required. Not simply power, 
but knowledge, sympathy, and skill must be brought into 
requisition. The object must be pursued with persistence 
and with large intelligence. If it were to succeed, the colo- 
nists must in some way be brought to believe that their 
interests were conserved by it and that it was not something 
merely imposed from without. 

In the failure of the Stuart government to command the 
ability and the patience which were reqaiired for the task 
of autocratic government lay one of the chief elements of 
strength in the principle for which the colonists were con- 
tending. Their methods of government at home, as well 
as the officials whom they employed, were ill adapted to 
the spirit and the needs of the English nation. There was 
much less likelihood that they would attempt to order their 


colonial policy and their appointments in the colonial ser- 
vice with a clear appreciation of the difficulty of the task 
they were undertaking. Thus far Edward Randolph had 
been the agent upon whom English officials had chiefly re- 
lied for information and whose advice they had followed in 
action. But Randolph's personal qualities and his career 
thus far in New England unfitted him for valuable con- 
structive work. He was a partisan of the narrowest mould, 
a fitting counterpart of such men as Endicott and Danforth 
among the colonists. He was an impecunious man, depend- 
ent for support on the pickings of office. He therefore 
formed one among the herd of office seekers who were ever 
looking for employment. By his zeal in office and his activ- 
ity as a correspondent he sought to entitle himself to pro- 
motion. Besides his personal advancement, his one idea 
was to promote the interests and claims of the crown, almost 
irrespective of the effect which they might have on the 
well-being of the colonists or the relation in which it might 
stand to their predispositions. All his utterances were af- 
fected by this bias. His knowledge of law and business was 
utilized wholly for these ends. Of sympathy with the body 
of the colonists and their interests scarcely a sign appears in 
his voluminous correspondence. Randolph's career some- 
what deeply influenced American affairs, but it was in an 
arbitrary and sinister fashion which tended more toward 
strife than to peaceful and harmonious development. 

The danger was that Randolph's spirit and conduct might 
prove typical in too high a degree of colonial officials as a 
class. In some of the proprietary provinces such a spirit 
had at times appeared. Owing to the remoteness of the 
colonies, to the comparative disregard in which, because of 
their dependence and weakness, they were held; because 
also of the autocratic ideas which prevailed in the Stuart 
court and of the spirit of favoritism and privilege which 
then controlled appointments to office, — there was great 
danger lest the colonial officials who received their places 
directly from the king should be defective in character, 
inferior in ability, and indifferent to the needs and desires 
of those whose affairs they were sent to administer. If that 


should prove to be the case, the substitution of royal prov- CHAP, 
inces for chartered colonies would not materially strengthen -^^'* 
the bond of union between the colonies and the mother 

More than a year and a half elapsed — September, 1684, to 
May, 1686 — between the arrival of intelligence in Massa- 
chusetts that the decree against the charter had been issued 
and the establishment of government directly under the 
crown. So great had been the change since 1685, both in 
the spirit of Massachusetts and in that of the English Puri- 
tans, that now there was no thought of resistance. During 
the interval two elections were held and the general court 
met for several short sessions. Bradstreet was continued in 
the governorship, and the only change of significance in the 
board of assistants was the dropping of Dudley from the list 
of assistants in 1686. Shrimpton, who had been a friend of 
Randolph, was summoned before the assistants in March, 
1686, for declaring in the county court at Boston that there 
was no governor and company.^ Much fruitless and irritat- 
ing discussion followed, which was occasioned by this affair, 
but it was brought to an end by the establishment of a new 

In England, among the questions which first arose was that 
of the extent of the province which should now be organized 
in New England.^ Plymouth had no royal charter and it 
was immediately resolved that that colony should be annexed 
to Massachusetts. Since Cranfield's commission had been 
revoked, the same resolution was reached concerning New 
Hampshire. King's Province would necessarily be included. 
The attorney general also reported that the Province of 
Maine, with the proprietorship of all the ungranted land there, 
devolved on the crown as soon as the corporation of Massa- 
chusetts was dissolved. This cleared the way for the con- 
tinued union of that province with Massachusetts. The lords 
of trade and plantations also took notice that Rhode Island 
and Connecticut " are governed at present by Charters granted 

1 Sewall, Diary, 1. 128, 135. He refosed to acknowledge that this was a 
fault or to give bond, and was actually imprisoned for a few hours. 
* Toppan, Randolph, UL 324, 332. 


PART by His Majesty . . . which are not yet vacated by any Pro- 
ceedings at Law." Proceedings, as will appear, were duly 
instituted, and thus by rapid strides the process advanced 
by which the dream of Sir Ferdinando Gorges was for a brief 
time to be realized. 

The government of Charles II at first determined to 
appoint Colonel Percy Kirke to the oflBce of governor and 
at once to complete the organization of Massachusetts as a 
royal province. Kirke had served in Tangier, and as his con- 
duct a year later in the suppression of Monmouth's rebellion 
proved, was an officer of the most brutal character. In 
discussing the commission of Kirke, which it was thought 
should be modelled after that of Lord Howard, governor of 
Virginia, the committee of trade decided that judicial pro- 
ceedings before the Massachusetts courts and marriages 
which had been celebrated according to the forms observed 
there, should be treated as valid. Land which should be at 
the king's disposal and granted out should be subject to a 
quit rent. The commissioners of customs should prepare 
special instructions respecting the enforcement of the laws 
of trade. The governor should select one of the churches 
of Boston to be used for religious service according to the 
rites of the Church of England. It was also finally resolved 
that no reference be made to an assembly, either in the com- 
mission or the instructions. 

But it is needless to specify further the provisions which 
the committee of trade planned to introduce into the com- 
mission and instructions of Colonel Kirke,^ for he was not 
sent to New England. The change of plan was due to the 
delay consequent on the death of Charles II, to the out- 
break of Monmouth's rebellion, and to the influence which 
in the interval Randolph was able to exert. He had watched 
with dissatisfaction the bold proceedings of Cranfield in 
New Hampshire and saw that he was bringing the king's 
government into contempt.^ He also saw that, if a governor 

1 Certain other provisions — giving to the governor absolute control over 
the military and the censorship of the press — were reported by Barillon to 
Louis XIV as having been suggested. Fox, History of James II, App. 
Quoted by Palfrey, III. 396. 

^ See Randolph's letter to the bishop of St Asaph. Toppan, IV. 17. 


were sent to the new province who should tread in Cran- chap. 
field's steps or do worse things, existing prejudice toward ^^^ 
England would be increased. When the ^^ Bloody Assizes " 
began, Randolph wrote to Robert Southwell that he had 
never thought Kirke was a fit man for governor and now he 
saw that he would be a tyrant. As Randolph himself ex- 
pected to go to New England in the capacity of secretary 
and register, he felt that he had also a personal interest in 
the question. He foresaw that the harder Kirke pressed the 
people, the more difficult would be the task of the secretary ; 
" So that," writes Randolph, " I must expect betwixt gov- 
ernor and people to be ground to powder." " I had rather 
have j£100 a year in New England under a quiet prudent 
governor than j£500 if he [Kirke] were upon the place." ^ 
As a way of escape from the perils which he saw ahead, he 
suggested his own appointment as governor of the Bermuda 

But the plan of Kirke's appointment was soon dropped, 
and instead it was resolved^ that Randolph should go to 
New England as secretary and register and with a continu- 
ance of his authority as an officer of the customs, and that 
he should carry with him a commission for a temporary gov- 
ernment. Months before he had been in correspondence 
with Joseph Dudley^ respecting the chances of appointment 
for the latter and for some of his friends in New England. 
Apparently before Kirke was thought of for governor Ran- 
dolph had fixed upon Dudley as the most suitable man for 
the place. Randolph had urged the appointment of Dudley 
as receiver general for New England and held other sug- 
gestions in reserve for a later opportunity. He recommended 
that members of the council should be New Englanders, and 
submitted a long list of names of those whom he considered 
suitable for appointment. He was also favorable to the 
continuance of an assembly. In September, 1685, the royal 
commission * for the temporary government of New England 

1 Toppan, IV. 29, 80, 36. « Ibid. 40-60. 

• Ibid. III. 310, 317, 336 ; IV. 18. 

* Ibid, 51; 1 Mass. Hist. Colls. V.244. The commission is printed in part 
In R. L Col. Recs. IIL 196, and in full in Laws of New Hamp^iire, L 98. 


PART by a president was issued. As in the case of the provisional 
^ J government of New Hampshire, the first appointees, with 

one or two exceptions, were residents of New England* 
Joseph Dudley was named as president and with him were 
associated seventeen councillors, Randolph, its secretary, be- 
ing one. All were selected from Massachusetts except Robert 
Mason and John Hinckes, who were from New Hampshire, 
while Francis Champernowne and Edward Tyng were from 
Maine, and Fitz-John Winthrop from King's Province. 
Stoughton, Bulkely, Bradstreet, and Pynchon were promi- 
nent among the members from Massachusetts. Among the 
councillors were only two Anglicans, Mason and Randolph. 

The president was empowered to select any one of the 
council to act as deputy. Seven were to constitute a quo- 
rum. They were to meet in Boston within twenty days 
after the arrival of the commission and take the oath of 
allegiance, and the same oath should be administered to all 
office holders. A special oath was also to be taken that they 
would administer justice and faithfully perform their trust. 
They were not given legislative power, nor power to lay new 
taxes, but they were authorized to establish courts, act as a 
court of appeal and highest resort, appoint military officers, and 
provide for defence. They were also to see that existing 
taxes were collected, and freedom of conscience was insured, 
especially for Anglicans. They were, in short, to act as the 
general administrative body in the province until a permanent 
government should be established. The old seal of the colony 
was to be used until further order. They were commanded 
to send quarterly a full account of their proceedings to Eng- 
land. Appeals to the king should be allowed in cases which 
involved not less than <£300. Dudley was appointed vice 
admiral, Wharton judge of admiralty, Randolph postmaster, 
secretary and register, and surveyor of the woods.^ 

Owing to delay caused by storms, Randolph did not arrive 
in Boston with the commission until May, 1686. He came 
in the Ro9e frigate. Immediately steps were taken to es- 
tablish the new government. Two of those who were desig- 

1 Toppan, IV. 60, 68, 67. 


nated as councillors — Bradstreet and Saltonstall — declined CHAP, 
to serve. Some of the ministers, among them Increase ^ ^^^^ 
Mather, labored with Dudley to persuade him not to ac- 
cept,^ but without success. 

As Randolph was a representative of the class of royal 
officials of English birth who were coming to have a per- 
manent influence on American affairs, so Joseph Dudley was 
one among an increasing number of colonists who were ready 
to strike hands with the agents of the king and share in 
every respect their obligations and advantages. Outside of 
New England a career like that of Dudley would not have 
called for special remark. The middle and southern colonies 
contained not a few men of his type who, because they were 
bom and reared on the new continent, did not for that rea- 
son think themselves excluded from sympathy with the 
spirit and aims of the ruling classes in England. The ac- 
tivities of these men in trade, in the professions, and in 
public office, preserved the harmonious cooperation of colo- 
nies and fatherland. The extent to which the sympathies 
of Puritan New England were divorced from the England of 
the Restoration is indicated by the sharp criticism which 
Dudley's career called forth from the Mathers at the time, 
and has elicited from those in later times who have 
found in the Puritan commonwealth a peculiar object of 
admiration. That Dudley was ambitious of worldly pre- 
ferment, that his training as a lawyer and his experience as 
agent in England developed and strengthened this ambition, 
is quite clear. His letters, as well as those of Randolph, 
show that at least as soon as the proceedings in chancery 
had made the issue of the decree against the charter a cer- 
tainty, Dudley began to seek employment in the reorganized 
government. He consciously chose to act as a mediator in 
an important transition, to order his life with a view to the 
prospects of the dawning empire. Though a career of this 
kind lacked the element of heroism which characterized the 
lives of the first settlers, it was quite as necessary as theirs 
and in its way as useful. The critic who would order his 

1 Sewall, Diary, I. 130; Hutchinson, ed. of 1795, I. 315. 

VOL. Ill — 2 c 


judgments with a view to the issues of our colonial develop- 
ment as a whole will not characterize Joseph Dudley as a 
traitor, but consider it on the whole fortunate that so able 
a New Englander as he was available for service at this crisis. 

On May 17, at a session of the general court, the estab- 
lishment of the new government was proclaimed. Sewall, 
who describes the scene,^ says that the " old government " 
drew to the north side of the room in the town house where 
the court sat, while Dudley and a number of those who 
were to be his councillors came in on the left. Captain 
George of the king's frigate. Governor Hinckley of Plymouth, 
and Governor West of South Carolina — then visiting in 
Boston — were also present. " The Room pretty well filled 
with Spectators in an instant." After the assembly had 
gathered, Dudley addressed them at some length. He 
said that he could not meet them as governor and company, 
but only as an assembly of ^^ considerable gentlemen of this 
place and inhabitants of all parts of the country." Neither 
could he capitulate with them respecting the king^s com- 
mands. He denied^ the truth of charges which had evidently 
been made that he had put himself forward as a candidate 
for office under the new regime, that he might thereby pay 
off old grudges. He pledged himself instead to forget, as 
far as was possible, all injuries and prejudices, and to serve 
the colony both at home and in England to the best of his 
power. After the close of his speech, the commissions of 
government and of admiralty were shown, as was the letter 
of transmission from the council. Danforth, the deputy 
governor, then said, " I suppose you expect no reply from 
the Court." To this Dudley answered, "I know no court 
here in being till the king's Court be in order and settled." 
To the council he declared that the alterations in the ad- 
ministration of government would be few, and would be 
made as plain and easy as possible. 

The court then adjourned till October. Says Sewall, 
"The adjournment which had been agreed before, . . . was 
declared by the weeping Marshal General. Many tears shed 

1 Sewall, Diary, 1. 138. 

* Proc. Mass. Hist. Soc., September, 1864 ; Toppan, I. 276 n. 


in prayer and at parting." Thus the government of Massa- CHAP, 
chusetts under the old charter came to an end. The politi- ^^^* 
cal indifference of many is evident. Even Sewall did not 
favor a protest, but well expressed the perplexity even of 
the leaders when he queried, ^^The foundations being de- 
stroyed, what can the righteous do ? " Three days later a 
part of the court, in a paper signed by Secretary Rawson,^ 
replied to the president that it found in the commission for 
the new government no certain rule for the administration 
of justice, and the provisions it did contain on that subject 
seemed too arbitrary. It found also that *^ subjects are 
abridged of their libertyes as Englishmen both in the mat- 
ters of legislation and in the Law of Taxes, and indeed the 
whole unquestioned privilege of the subject transferred 
upon yourselves, there not being the least mention of an 
assembly in the Commission." Still, though they could not 
assent to the change, they hoped to demean themselves as 
loyal subjects of the king and in the meantime would pray 
for relief.^ 

On May 25 the president and council held their first ^ 
meeting. An exemplification of the judgment against the 
charter was read, as was the commission of government 
directed to the president and council. The oaths of alle- 
giance and of office were then taken. After this the presi- 
dent and council took their seats upon the bench, and the 
president addressed the people who were assembled. After 
stating that the council, " all excuses set aside," were required 
to serve the king in the government of New England, he 
called upon all subjects to render them their loyal and duti- 
ful support. He said that the changes in the methods of 
government would be few, and they would be made as plain 
and easy as possible. The recognition of freedom of worship 
he referred to as an assurance of the just intentions of the 
king. But if any imagined that license would be given to 
vice or immorality, they would find the contrary to be true. 

1 2 Proc. Mass. Hist. Soc. XIII. 237. 

* Mass. Col. Recs. V. 616 ; Hutch. Hist. I. 342 ; Sewall, Diary, L 140. 

• The Dudley Records, 2 Proc. of Mass. Hist. Soc. XIII. 226. 


After the proclamation ^ of the government had been read 
and ordered to be published by beat of drum in Boston and 
sent to all the other towns, the transaction of business ac- 
cording to the forms of the royal province was begun. Jus- 
tices of the peace were appointed for the three counties of 
Massachusetts and for the provinces of Maine and New 
Hampshire. Dates were set for the holding of the county 
courts, and regulations were made concerning their jurisdic- 
tion and concerning procedure in the transaction of all kinds 
of legal business. In deference to the custom of New Eng- 
land a proclamation was issued empowering justices of the 
peace, as well as ministers, to celebrate marriages. For the 
first time in New England history, provision was specially 
made by law for keeping a record of births, deaths, and mar- 
riages. Military commissions were ordered to be drawn, and 
Randolph had brought over some English flags for use. 
William Stoughton was appointed deputy president, and 
John Usher, a Boston merchant and a member of the 
council, was made treasurer of the province. 

On June 2, in accordance with the commission, orders 
were passed for the continuance of the existing customs and 
excise, provision being also made that the rules for their 
collection which were already in force should be obeyed. 
The powder duty was ordered to be collected. Constables 
were required to bring in the rates as usual. A table of 
judicial fees was also issued. Thus the fiscal systems of the 
colonies which were combined into the new province were 
continued. The bounds ^ of townships were also confirmed. 
The right of towns to hold elections and to instruct their 
oflBcials respecting the management of town affairs was rec- 
ognized. All contracts which had been made between towns 
and their ministers, schoolmasters, or any other parties were 
confirmed. Committees which had been appointed for the 
government of villages and outlying plantations were con- 
tinued. A committee was appointed by the council to revise 
the laws, but this was not completed until after the arrival 

1 Laws of New Hampehire, I. 99 ; Dudley Recs. 228. 
< Dudley Recs. 240. 


of Governor Andros,^ when a new and larger body was CHAP, 
designated. k^!^ 

The comparatively liberal spirit of the president and the 
council is also indicated by an instruction ' which was given 
to Robert Mason, when in June he returned to England as 
the bearer of an address to the king and of a letter to the 
committee of trade. It was that the royal interests, as well 
as the prosperity of the province, would be advanced if the 
right to hold assemblies was granted. The need of a mint 
or of some provision for a local coinage was also suggested. 
In the letter to the committee of trade the request was made 
that their lordships would provide for the prompt filling of 
vacancies in the council; while, as a further indication of the 
new spirit of cordial support which was to animate the gov- 
emment of New England, they told what care their council 
had taken to guard the rights of the king, to enforce the acts 
of trade, and to place the control of the militia in trusted 

The council held frequent sessions, these often continuing 
through two successive days. They were held every week 
or once in two weeks. The work of the council was partly 
judicial and partly administrative in character. It was such 
as the board of assistants had done before the revocation of the 
charter. Of legislation in the proper sense of the term the 
council attempted nothing. In this, as in all other respects, 
the temporary character of the government by president and 
council is apparent. The only important removal which 
was made was that of Danforth from the presidency of the 
council of Maine; but that was unavoidable. Bulkely re- 
fused to act as commander of the castle, and Wait Winthrop 
was appointed in his place. Dudley showed throughout that 
he intended to conciliate the people of Massachusetts as much 
as possible. Neither from him, nor from the other New 
England men who composed the council, could great inno- 
vations be expected. They all acted from the first upon 
the knowledge that their government was provisional. 
The change which awakened the greatest interest among 

1 Dudley Recs., 2 Proc. Mass. Hist. Soc. XIII. 256; Andros Recs., Proc. 
Am. Antiq. Soc., New Series, XUL 244. < j^^^^. 241, 244. 


FART the people at large was the beginning of Anglican worship 
^' ^ in Boston. Nothing of that character had been known 
to the generation then living. So far as we are informed, 
the Prayer Book had never been used in public worship 
in any of the Puritan colonies. The professions which were 
made at the time of the migration had proved a dead letter. 
But the English authorities, especially Randolph, had made 
it a special care to procure a clergyman of the Established 
Church. The one secured was Robert Ratcliff^, and he came 
in the frigate with Randolph. He had been recommended 
by the Bishop of London, and brought with him a letter 
from the lords of trade. He was provided with prayer books 
and the usual accessories which were required in the wo^ 
ship of the English Church. 

The curious interest which was felt in the doings of Mr. 
Ratcliff is indicated by Sewall.^ On May 18 Sewall notes 
that two weddings were celebrated by ^^ Mr. Randolph's 
chaplain," one at Mr. Shrimpton's and the other at the town 
house. In each case a ring was borrowed for the occasion. 
When, on the second day of its session, the minister 
applied to the council for the assignment of a place in 
which to hold service. Mason and Randolph proposed that 
he might be admitted to one of the three churches in Boston. 
This was refused, and he was granted ^^ the east end of the 
Townhouse, where the Deputies used to meet, until those 
who desire his ministry should provide a fitter place." ^ 

On the following Sunday Sewall records that his son read 
to him in course the 26th chapter of Isaiah and they then 
sang the 14l8t Psalm, " both exceedingly suited to this day, 
wherein there is to be worship according to the Church of 
England, as t'is called, in the Town House, by Countenance 
of Authority." ^ He was later informed that " many crowded 
thither," drawn of course by curiosity ; but they found that 
as yet no pulpit was provided, though the minister preached 
both forenoon and afternoon. Randolph wrote soon after 
to the Archbishop of Canterbury, that the room in the town 

1 Sewall, Diary, I. 180. 

2 Sewall, 141. Reference to this does not appear in the Minutes of the 
Council. •Ibid. 142. 


house had been found too small and that services had been chap. 
removed to the exchange. But some of the people had ^^ 
been heard to call ^^ our minister Baal's priest, and one of 
their ministers from the pulpit called our praiers leeks, 
garlick and trash." 

Randolph was also much troubled by his inability to 
secure from the president and council an appropriation for 
the support of Mr. Ratcliff. He thought that 20«. per 
week might be taken from the collections in each of the 
other three churches for the purpose. He soon began to 
look with greedy eyes on the fund which had been 
accumulated by the Society for the Propagation of the 
Gospel in New England, and desired that a part of it 
should be used for the building of a church. But all of 
these plans failed, and the council, as well as all others, 
were resolved that Anglican worship should be supported 
by those who chose to. attend upon it. Randolph noted 
with sorrow the fact that Mr. Mason and himself were the 
only members of the council who were Anglicans, while 
among more than sixty officers in the militia there were only 
two captains and two or three inferior officers who were 
not members of the churches of New England or constant 
attendants upon their services.^ Dudley, he wrote, while in 
London had pretended to be of the Church of England, 
** yet since he is made President, courts and keeps private 
cabals with these factious ministers and others, who, in the 
time of Monmouth's Rebellion refused to pray for his 
Majesty." The utter weakness of the Anglican cause in 
New England made Randolph despair, and set him longing 
for the arrival of a royal governor, whose influence and 
prestige he hoped would galvanize the cause into life and 

But there were other reasons which added to the dissatis- 
faction that soon became the dominant note in Randolph's 
correspondence. Among these he laid special emphasis on 
his inability to secure from Dudley and the council what 
he considered proper support in his efforts to regulate trade. 

1 Toppan, IV. 89, 90, 101, 114 


FART In his collisions with the department of the navj, as repre- 
sented by Captain George and his men, he claimed that 
he was not properly upheld. To this reference has been 
made in another connection. He also complained that his 
business as secretary and register was taken from him and 
bestowed on others, that he was unable to get possession of 
the records which belonged to that office, and that his fees 
from that service suffered materially. After Andros's 
arrival he tried to recover from Dudley something under 
this head, but his effort was unsuccessful.^ 

Now Randolph had brought his wife to the colony, and 
even by the captain of the frigate an outrageous scandal 
was circulated affecting her reputation.^ In part to the 
sufferings they both endured he attributed her death, 
about a year later. For this accumulation of troubles 
Randolph now held Dudley largely responsible. In his 
letters he charged the president with being ^^a man of a 
base, servile and anti-monarchial principle." He was de- 
clared to be in alliance with Randolph's foes and with the 
enemies of the English government. He could not be 
trusted. Randolph assumed the same to be true in the case 
of several members of the council. Stoughton, he said, 
was " of the old leaven "; Richards, " a man not to be trusted 
in public business "; and Hinckley, ex-governor of Ply- 
mouth, he pronounced "a rigid Independent."^ Others 
were like these, and, if Randolph's representations are 
worthy of belief, the council was torn by dissensions, and 
the situation little improved by the substitution of it for 
government under the charter. He was also worried by 
the arrival of some nonconformist emigrants from Scot- 
land, with others from Ireland and elsewhere, — fugitives 
from the Catholic reaction, which was then in progress. He 
feared that a large migration of this character might result.* 
His fears and animosities Randolph, as usual, fully stated 
in his letters to the committee of trade, to Blathwayt and 
to Archbishop Sancroft. His feelings furnished him with 

1 Toppan, IV. 116, 116, 120, 140. « Ibid. 93, 107. 

• Ibid. 131 ; Hutch. Papers. IL 296. * Toppan, IV, 113, 117. 


arguments for the speedy despatch of a royal governor to chap. 
New England, for in Randolph's opinion no security was 
to be expected till this was done. 

Randolph's anxieties were relieved by the arrival of Sir 
Edmund Andros in Boston, late in December, 1686, with a 
commission and instructions as governor of all New England 
except Rhode Island and Connecticut. Save in a few points 
which related to conditions that were peculiar to New Eng- 
land, the commission and instructions were identical with 
those which at the same time ^ were issued to Governor 
Dongan of New York. The evident purpose of the crown 
in granting them was to transplant in New England the 
system of government which was already in existence 
in New York. The wide difference between the two sec- 
tions is proven by the changes which that policy was in- 
tended to secure in New England, and by the aversion 
with which the policy was viewed by the majority of 
New Euglanders. 

New York had not yet become accustomed to a legislative 
assemblv. Such assemblies were the centre and foundation 
of the New England system. In New York the executive 
legislated for the province, and appropriated, collected, and 
expended the revenue. In New England these activities 
originated with the representative assemblies. In New York 
conformity with English law and recognition of the sov- 
ereignty of the crown were sought as objects of prime 
importance. In New England this had been avoided or 
unwillingly acknowledged. The New York executive wel- 
comed the support of the English government, and willingly 
reported to it all transactions in the province. When 
Andros came that obligation was for the first time imposed 
upon the Puritan colonies of New England. If the regime 
which he was sent to establish continued, not only would the 
oath of allegiance be generally taken and laws submitted to 
the king for his approval, but suits which involved j£300 or 

1 The Commission is printed in full in R. L Col. Recs. ni. 212, and in 
Laws of New Hampshire, L 146. The instructions are printed only in the 
Laws of New Hampshire, I. 155. The commission of Andros passed the 
privy seal June 3, and that of Dongan passed the great seal June 10, 1686. 


PART more might be transferred to England on appeal. In New 
^^' York also the king was expressly recognized as the source 
of land titles ; land was granted to individuals and was 
legally, if not actually, subject to a quit rent. In New Eng- 
land land had been granted to corporate bodies known as 
towns, and was not subject to a quit rent. Under this 
system much land within easy reach of settlements might 
remain unoccupied and unimproved for indefinite periods 
and yet not be subject to grant except by the towns them- 
selves. If favorites and officials were to be supplied with 
valuable tracts conveniently located, if the system of quit 
rents was to be made universal, a policy like that of enclos- 
ures in England might be deemed necessary. Finally, the 
adherent of the English Church was welcomed in New York, 
while in Massachusetts he was almost abhorred. 

Those who would understand what Andros attempted in 
New England should study his career in New York and the 
Jerseys. It will appear that his method in the two adminis- 
trations was substantially the same. He failed in New Eng- 
land because the New York system, as it then was, and the 
spirit of royal administration which was substantially in 
harmony therewith, were so different from the conditions 
that were original in New England. 

The intention of the crown, in sending Andros again to 
America, was to organize the dominion of New England. 
This was intended to include all the colonies north and east 
of the Delaware river. It was to comprise, in other words, 
the territory which in 1620 had been granted to the New 
England Council ; or, to go still further back, the northern 
Virginia which had made its first appearance on the map 
with the issue of the charters of 1606 and 1609. The plan 
was a revival of the dream of Sir Ferdinando Gorges. Be- 
tween the close of 1686 and the spring of 1689 Sir Edmund 
Andros labored to establish the dominion which Gorges had 
failed to erect in 1636. Had the plan succeeded, we may 
imagine that New York and not Massachusetts would have 
ultimately proved the centre of the Dominion and would 
have been the seat of its government. At any rate, the 
spirit of its administrative system would have animated the 


whole. We may further imagine that, if tendencies which CHAP, 
were dominant in 1686 had triumphed, Virginia would soon ^ 
have formed the nucleus around which the provinces south 
of the fortieth parallel would have been gathered, and the 
system originally foreshadowed in the charter of 1606 would 
have been realized. 

The state system of America, like that of Europe, has 
exhibited in its development variations upon a few original 
types. To the crown lawyer and to the statesman of the 
autocratic temper this scheme of colonial union, planned and 
executed by the crown, was attractive and inspiring. If 
found practicable, it would remove many obstacles from the 
path of administrators. But how had later events, in which 
crown as well as colonist had borne a share, contributed to 
subdivide the ancient territories and to plant there peoples 
and institutions of varying types I Would it be possible, by 
any administrative device, to overcome the divergences of 
these colonies and weld them into an organic whole ? The 
difficulties attending this task in New England would be 
great. How much greater would they be when it came to 
the uniting of New England with New York and the 
Jerseys ? 

When Randolph was sent to New England in 1685 the 
delivery of the commission to Dudley and the council was 
only one part of his errand. He was also intrusted with 
writs of qao warranto against the corporations of Rhode 
Island and Connecticut. When, in November, 1684,^ the 
committee of trade and plantations was considering the or- 
ganization of New England under a president and council, it 
noted the fact that the charters of Rhode Island and Con- 
necticut were not yet vacated. Randolph, Blathwayt, and 
their associates were aware ^ that the coterie of Quakers and 
of friends of Connecticut which was now managing the 
affairs of Rhode Island would probably not stand suit if 
a writ was issued against them. In this they were not 

During the early months of 1685 the authorities in Eng- 

1 Toppan, m. 326. « lUdL IV. 4. 


PART land were considering ^ the question, whether process should 
be immediately issued against Rhode Island and Connecticut 
or whether it should be delayed until the general governor 
was sent over. This proves that the recall of the charters 
of those colonies was from the first regarded as an incident 
of the permanent adjustment of New England affairs. Ow- 
ing very likely to the delay caused by the death of Charles 
II and the change of resolution concerning the appointment 
of Colonel Kirke, it was decided not to wait until the ap- 
pointment of a general governor. In May, 1685, Randolph 
was ordered to prepare articles of misdemeanor against the 
two colonies in question, as he had previously done in the 
case of Massachusetts, on the strength of which writs of quo 
warranto might be issued. These, in somewhat loose and 
perfunctory terms, he submitted in the following July. * 

The government of Rhode Island was charged with levy- 
ing taxes illegally, with denying appeals to the king, with 
passing laws repugnant to those of England and refusing to 
allow the laws of England to be pleaded in her courts. It was 
also charged that her representatives and magistrates did 
not take the oaths required by law, and that her inhabitants 
were guilty of violations of the acts of trade. Connecticut 
was charged with passing laws which were repugnant to 
those of England, with imposing fines on the inhabitants 
and using the proceeds for the support of its government. 
She was declared to have forbidden Anglicans to celebrate 
worship according to the ritual of their church; to have 
excluded inhabitants from justice in their courts and kept 
the government in the hands of the Independent party to 
the exclusion of all men of known loyalty. 

The committee of trade having reported that these charges 
furnished a sufficient basis for the issue of an information, 
the council ordered that Attorney General Sawyer should 
proceed. Against Connecticut two writs were issued, one 
dated July 6 and the other August 3, 1685. The first writ 
required the appearance of the governor and company before 

1 Toppan, IV. 14. 

« Ihid, 21, 22 ; CoL Recs. of R. L HL 176-178 ; Col. Recs. of Conn, m. 
347; Colonial Fapeis, 1085-16S8, 66. 




the long, iherever he shoied, that they might have convenient ports 
18,1685. The second, that their trade with the neighboring colonies , 
Writs were It the Firee from all duties except those for which pro- 
of the tit) Je:.ni8 made by a statute.^ 

^raie^botthesf on October 28, 1686, a third qtio warranio was issued. 
The writ usal with the first two and returnable February 9, 1687. 
spring of liVas serred on December 28, 1686. Eight days before 
ddphoQ Ja\ndro6 had arrived in Boston, bringing among his in- 
made fon^tions a clanse providing that in case Connecticut ^' shall 
compuiernduced &> niake surrender of their charter . . . to re- 
enjoj tJve such smr^oiier "* and take that colony under his govern- 
*fwiient. Upc»n T*^\^i'r'.n^ notice of this from Andros and after 
wP'the service of tii* "iiird writ, a letter was sent by the general 
^ court to the Earl '.z ^iinderland, then secretary of state, set- 
ting forth that ii v w impossible for them to appear for trial 
as early as the ber:i:iin?r of February. They said that they 
heartily desired u- r^fna^a. as they were; " but if his Majesty's 
royal purpose be cnL*rv*je to dispose of us, we shall, as in 
duty bound, submi: ^: ia royal commands." They simply 
asked, in case a cLStrr^ biwame inevitable, that they might 
be joined with the Xrir England colonies.^ Statements to 
the same general effr-r. -rere also made in letters from the 
authorities of Connei-.i:-:- :o Andros. 

Though the surreL-ier of a charter, in order to be effective 
in law, must be under tL* jeal of the corporation, this admis- 
sion of an intention to nbmit was at once accepted in Eng- 
land as for practical pTirposes sufficient. Upon receiving 
the letter from Connecticut ^ warranto proceedings were 
at once dropped and an order* from the privy council was 
sent to Andros to take Connecticut under his government 
and appoint Treat and Allyn members of the council of 
New England. The corrwprmdence between Andros and 
the government of Connecticut bad continued through the 
spring and summer, but withwit apparent progress toward 

1 Conn. Col. Reca. III. 870-375. 

« /bid. 376^370; Colonial P*pm,l«.,«8^ 5^ The letter to S* 

derland is not in the Calendar, bnt to wbaZ^ k!%^ ^ « ! J.u i«-i* 
Annate. 306. "^^ ^ Trumbull from C\i^^ 

• Conn. C/oL Recs. IIL 886, 387 - CcJmbi n. ^ mt 

'' ^'**™^ f^Wi. 1686-1688. 883. tf'' 



a result. Governor Dongan had also exerted himself for 
the purpose of inducing Connecticut to join New York, and 
letters had been exchanged on the subject, but without 
agreement.^ As soon as the decision of the home goverD- 
ment reached Andros he started for Hartford.* On arriv- 
ing there he met the governor and assistants, and arrange- 
ments for the submission were made. The next morning, 
October 31, in the presence of the general court, Andros 
had his commission read, and assured them that all their 
liberties should be preserved. Treat and AUyn then re- 
ceived the oath as councillors, and the establishment of the 
new government was formally accepted by the general court. 
After organizing courts at Hartford, and visiting the other 
counties, where tribunals were also organized, the governor 
returned to Boston. 

In the man-of-war with Andros, December 20, 1686,' came 
sixty regulars — the " redcoats," whose presence had never 
before been seen in New England. The governor's commis- 
sion was read, and he at once took the oath of alle- 
giance. The oaths of office and allegiance were administered 
to those of the councillors who were present. Other mem- 
bers were later sworn, until the council, prior to the an- 
nexation of Connecticut, numbered twenty-seven. Edward 
Randolph, who held the office of secretary and register 
until May, 1687, when he leased it to John West* of New 
York as his deputy, for £150 a year, continued to hold his 
seat in the council. So did nearly all of the former mem- 
bers. At the third session Walter Clarke and the members 
from Rhode Island took their seats. The governor de- 
manded of them the delivery of their charter. They replied 
that it was at the governor's house in Newport, and would 
be forthcoming when sent for. Andros ordered that it 
should be brought and delivered into the custody of the 

1 N. Y. Col. Docs. ni. 385-387 ; Conn. Col. Recs. III. 866, 386. 

* Bulkeley's Willand Doom, Colls. Conn. Hist. Soc. IIL ; Colonial Papers, 
1686-1688, 466, 463 ; Conn. Col. Recs. lU. 248. 

^ Sewall, Diary, I. 160 ; Andros Records, in Proc. of Am. Antiq. Soc., 
New Series, XIII. 240, 268, 453-499. 

* Ibid, 268 ; Toppan, IV. 155, 162. 


secretary. Proclamations were issued confirming officers CHAP. 


in their places throughout the colonies which composed 
the dominion. But these were soon followed by an order 
that new commissions be made out for them. Town officers 
were still to be elected and were to act within their juris- 
dictions as formerly. The issue of new commissions of 
course gave an opportunity for large changes in the per- 
sonnel of office holders, appointments both in the civil and 
the military service being generally made on nomination by 
members of the council.^ Town officers continued to be 
elected as usual. The council, had all of its members ever 
been present, would have equalled in number the lower 
houses in many of the colonial assemblies. But it rarely 
happened that even approximately the whole number was 
in attendance, and its business was usually done by from 
six to ten members. In reality, therefore, though it was 
empowered to legislate for all New England, its active mem- 
bership was little larger than that of the ordinary provincial 
council. The only security for its independence lay in the 
fact that all its members, except Randolph, were residents 
of New England. But this was scarcely adequate, for its 
methods of doing business were largely determined by the 
governor. His influence over its sessions, as well as over 
its members outside the formal sessions, was likely to be 
very great. 

The forms of a legislative body were maintained, at least 
to an extent, by the appointment of committees to prepare 
measures and by debate upon them when they were submitted. 
Thus, on December 31, a committee with Dudley at its head, 
and the quorum of which consisted of one member from 
each colony, was appointed to report on methods of adminis- 
tering justice; on courts, their times and places of session, 
their jurisdiction, forms, and fees. This committee reported 
to the next session as ordered, and after a debate on the sev- 
eral articles Mr. Wharton and the secretary were instructed to 
arrange them and submit them again to the council. We find 
nothing more of importance on the subject, except an order 

1 Andros Recs. 244, 260. 

VOL. Ill — 2d 


PART that courts should continue to be held at the usual times and 
places in Plymouth and Rhode Island, until the 24th of 
February. At that time a bill for establishing courts was 
debated at considerable length, the governor refusing to 
consent that trials about titles to land should be held in King's 
Province until the pleasure of the king was known. At later 
sessions the dates on which the quarterly courts should be 
held throughout the dominion were fixed, and it was ordered 
that all writs should be issued in the king's name. Long 
debates followed between proprietors of the Narragansett 
country and members from Rhode Island over the place of 
holding the grand assizes there. Finally, the bill was passed 
by the governor, December, 1687,^ It provided for a court 
of quarter sessions and an inferior court of common pleas 
within each county, and for a superior court of judicature, 
which should possess the highest common law jurisdiction 
throughout the whole dominion. Provision was also made 
for a court of chancery, and for the sessions of all the courts. 
Their jurisdiction and procedure were to be as near like those 
of the corresponding courts in England as possible. Appeals 
to the crown were fully provided for. Dudley, Stoughton, 
and Bulkely were appointed judges of the superior court. 
Dudley, acting as chief justice, received a salary of £150 and 
the others £120 each.* Salaries were paid out of the reve- 
nue of the territory. When Connecticut was annexed, the 
judicial system thus created was extended over that colony 
also. It is interesting to note that as long as this arrange- 
ment continued the towns of Hampshire county in Massachu- 
setts had to repair to Hartford for the trial of all their cases 
which came within the jurisdiction of the superior court.' 

An even more important task than that of the establish- 
ment of courts of justice was that of providing a revenue. 
The former revenue could only be continued for a time. It 
soon became necessary that positive provision should be made 
for the levy of taxes, and that by an appointed, not an elected 
body. On January 4, 1687, it was ordered that the usual 

1 The laws enacted by Andros and hiB council are printed in Conn. CoL 
Reca ni. 402-436. 

« Andros Recs. 267, 472. « Conn. Col. Recs. III. 403, 404. 


country rate of a penny in the pound be collected throughout chap. 
the dominion, and an instruction was issued to the treasurer . ^^^^* . 

V y 1^ 

accordingly. Later, provision was made for a capitation tax, 
an excise, and an import duty.^ The whole was then com- 
bined in one bill which, in the session of March 1, was 
warmly debated. Some urged that the valuation set upon 
horses and oxen in the bill was too high, but the reply was 
made that it was taken from the printed law under the title 
public charges. Objection was also made that a proposed 
levy of a halfpenny an acre on pasture land was not mentioned 
in the law book. Stoughton, Hinckley, Wharton, and Walley, 
in order to secure amendments, objected to having the bill 
passed at that session. It, however, was read a second time 
and ordered to be engrossed. A proviso was also introduced 
that it should continue in force until the governor, with the 
advice of the council, should establish other rates and taxes. 
We are told by Stoughton and those councillors who were 
associated with him in writing the* "Narrative of Proceed- 
ings of Sir Edmond Androsse and his complices," that a very 
considerable number of the members were opposed to this 
bill. But the governor supported it with not a little heat, 
falling back for justification, as he had been wont to do in New 
York, on his instructions. He prolonged the sessions, they 
thought unnecessarily, because of it. When they broke up, 
they did not think the bill agreed to. But the next day, when 
it was brought in engrossed, he quietly signed it, "without any 
counting of voices either then or the day before, which was 
the more needful because some did continue still to make their 
objections, others that had spoken against the bill the day 
before declaring their adherence to what they had then said." 
Others sat still, not because they were convinced, but because 
they saw it was of no use to oppose. The first resistance 
which the new government encountered was in the collection 
of the country rate provided for by this law. Nearly all the 
towns of Essex county, Massachusetts, and some elsewhere, 
refused to pay the rate. In Ipswich,^ for example, which was 

1 Andros Recs. 255, 256, 258 ; Conn. Ck>l. Bees. III. 406. 

« Andros Tracts, I. 140. 

• Ibid. LSSet seq. ; Toppan, IV. 171 e« seq. 


PART the largest town of the northeast, when the town meeting 
^' . met under a warrant from Treasurer Usher to choose a com- 
missioner to act with the selectmen in assessing the rates, it 
was resolved that such an act would be an infringement of 
their liberties as freeborn Englishmen, and inconsistent with 
the statutes of the "land," according to which no taxes were 
to be levied except with the consent of an assembly elected 
by the freeholders for that purpose. A commissioner was 
not chosen and the selectmen were ordered not to proceed 
without authority from an assembly. John Wise, the min- 
ister, and John Appleton, who had previously been an assist- 
ant, were the leaders in the act of resistance. They with 
four others were arrested and cast into jail at Boston. The 
writ of habeas corpus having been denied, after imprisonment 
they were brought to trial before Dudley, Stoughton, Usher, 
and Randolph as judges, and a jury. The accused pleaded 
that the old law of assessment had been repealed by the 
general court four years before and that by Magna Carta 
and later statutes they were secured against arbitrary 
levies. Dudley, who was chief justice, told the prisoners 
that they must not think the laws of England followed 
them to the ends of the earth. Wise testified that the 
justice upon examination said to him, "You have no more 
privileges left you than not to be sold for slaves," though 
it requires evidence of unusual strength to establish the 
credibility of such a statement. The jury was composed 
partly of strangers and, the accused claimed, of non-free- 
holders, introduced into it "to serve the present turn." All 
the accused were pronounced guilty and remanded to prison, 
where they were kept three weeks awaiting judgment. Then 
they were sentenced. Wise was suspended from ministerial 
functions, was fined ^£50 and costs, and put under bonds for 
good behavior during one year. The other prisoners were 
declared disqualified to hold office, fined and put under bonds. 
The costs of the trial, in fees and fines, was estimated 
at £400. 

Stoughton and his fellow councillors criticise in a most 
suggestive way the legislative methods to which Andros 
commonly resorted. They say that the way in which bills 


were proposed and passed was uncertain, for after they had CHAP, 
become well established in office, the governor and secretary' 
neglected to notify the councillors of the sessions wherein 
laws were to be passed. Bills were also framed in private 
and sprung upon the council without warning. No care was 
taken to count favorable or adverse votes, and orders were 
recorded as passed which were really not approved by the 
majority of the councillors- . When members urged that the 
consideration of important matters might be postponed until 
a fuller attendance could be secured, such motions" were 
always received by the governor with displeasure ; " So that 
it might be too truly affirmed, that in effect four or five per- 
sons, and those not so favorably inclined and disposed as 
were to be wished for, bear the Rule over and gave law to a 
Territory the largest and most considerable of any belonging 
to the Dominion of the crown." 

Soon after the arrival of Andros, as already stated, a com- 
mittee was appointed to extract from the law books of the 
colonies a collection of laws which, when devised, should 
serve as a code for the dominion. Its members were Dudley, 
Stoughton, Wharton, Hinckley, Walley, Clarke, Coggeshall, 
a fair representation not only of the ability of the council, 
but of the colonies which up to that time had been united in 
the dominion. When these laws came before the council for 
consideration, the one concerning towns and the contracts 
which they had made with their ministers and schoolmasters 
was first read. Thereupon Walter Clarke objected that the 
ministers of New England were as truly dissenters as were 
the Quakers, and therefore ought to be supported by volun- 
tary contributions. To this Hinckley, Walley, and others 
strongly objected, alleging that a principal condition which 
was imposed upon towns at their creation was the mainten- 
ance of a settled ministry. At the instance of the governor 
the discussion was postponed, but on the second session 
after, when the title covering cornfields and fences was 
under consideration, Hinckley produced a paper and read it 
in council. At this Andros took offence and demanded the 
paper. Clarke also moved that all persons in the townships 
who had not actually agreed to support the minister should 


PART be left to contribute or not as they chose. This, however, 
^ does not seem to have come to a vote. 

Andros and his associates had already approached the 
towns from more than one direction, and there were indica- 
tions that these jurisdictions would prove to be the final, 
perhaps the insuperable, obstacle in their path. The plan 
which had earlier been formed to compile a code of New 
England law was abandoned when, in May, 1687, West be- 
came secretary, because as things were it was found that in 
such a compilation a considerable place must be given to the 
towns. When a far-reaching attack upon that feature of 
New England institutions was contemplated, it would be 
plainly unwise to g^ve added sanction to the towns by in- 
corporating their law in a new code. 

The point at which the governor and the most influential 
councillors directly aimed was land titles. In the town 
grants and the deeds which had hitherto been issued in New 
England no adequate recognition had been made of the fact 
that, in the colonies, as elsewhere, the king was the source of 
rights to land. In a general way it was of course under- 
stood that their origin was in the king, and that view had 
been firmly maintained in the controversy with Roger Will- 
iams. But in legal documents the line of connection had 
rarely, if ever, been traced back beyond the colony charter. 
Grants had commonly been made without the use of the 
colony seal, though the charter required that it should be 
used in all transactions of the company.^ In the formulation 
of town grants, in the system of town allotments by which 
land generally passed into private ownership, there was much 
in New England practice which, from the standpoint of 
English law, was irregular or at least novel and undefined. 
The towns were not expressly incorporated, and this quality 
it was beyond the power of the governments in the corporate 
colonies to grant them. This, said Randolph, left them in 
the same legal condition as villages in England and without 
authority to hold ^ land. If this was true and the Andros 
government should seek to act upon it, not only could they 

^ Andros Tracts, n. 180, 284. * Toppan, IV. 206, 206. 



overthrow the town system, but the validity of land titles CHAP, 
throughout New England would be seriously impaired. In ^^" 
comparison with such an attack as this upon New England 
institutions, the levy of taxes under executive authority 
alone would be superficial. At any rate, the situation was 
such as to call for a general examination of patents and the 
grant at least of many new ones. This was a process not 
uncommon in the provinces, and with it Andros had become 
familiar in New York. It gave the desired occasion not 
only for the levy of fees for administrative duties performed 
during the process, but for the imposition of a quit rent as a 
condition of the regrants. 

Within the town grants lay also many tracts of unoccupied 

or unimproved land — town necks, stinted commons, pastures 

and woodland — which had not yet been divided into lots 

and granted to individual owners.^ In most or all instances 

these areas were subject to some form of joint utilization by 

the town itself where they were situated or by a group of 

proprietors. In not a few cases the poor inhabitants of towns 

^-rofited by the use of such commons. They were tracts such 

^'^ those which the large farmers and graziers of England 

that Ireland had long been seeking to appropriate in various 

^^^ : and especially by means of enclosure acts. Their 

reveni,jjg0 i^ Jfew England soon attracted the attention of 

the suj 2^^^ greedy councillors, like Randolph, and West, 

trustee,!.^ and Graham of the New York group. Randolph in 

^^ -Hilar began to petition for grants from these commons 

strong^mnber of towns in Massachusetts and Rhode Island, 

the hol^ evidence is lacking that Andros sought personal 

that foment in this way. In this connection resurveys were 

chosen for^ a course of policy which West and Palmer had 

duty ilpursuing, greatly to their own profit and to that of 

Select^^ in the settlements about Pemaquid. The posses- 

t islands was sought in similar manner. In this way 

lonirht r' form of attack upon the towns and upon the land 

acknoW^ ^^ ^®w England was perfected. 

Tight otien the New Englanders came to realize what was in- 

* Oof 1 See YoL L of this work, chapter XL 



PART tended, they were filled with alarm. Though not more than 
^' twenty amended grants passed the seal during the entire ad- 
ministration of Andros,^ to the colonists every thing seemed 
to be unsettled. A general inquiry into land titles must 
necessarily create much more disturbance in New England 
than in any province, whether proprietary or royal, because 
of the peculiar nature of the town system and the absence of 
quit rents. From a system of tenant right in any form the 
New Englanders had sought to escape, and almost nothing 
which suggested it had been allowed to find a lodgment 
among them. When Joseph Lynde of Charlestown traced 
the title of his lands back to a grant of the general court 
and to an Indian deed, Andros told him that it was *^ nothing 
worth if that were all." The signatures of Indians he 
declared to be of no more account ^' than a scratch with a 
Bear's paw."* As Lynde owned several parcels of land in 
the neighboring counties, Secretary West told him he must 
take out as many patents as there were counties, if not towns, 
involved. When the cost of this made him pause, a writ of 
intrusion upon one of the tracts was issued. Lynde then^ 
gave Graham, the attorney general, £3 and offered £10 v , 
addition, with the payment of court charges, if he would -ii 
the suit drop. But in this he was unsuccessful, and was y^ 
by Graham that writs of intrusion would be very gene ^^ 
issued. The ofiBcials repeatedly declared in rough anij . i 
perious fashion that all land in New England was the ki ^ ^ 
this being emphatically true since the revocation Oj . . 
charter. When confronted with a situation like this, i^uj^i. 
not surprising that the leaders in Massachusetts felt j^uch 
more inclined to emphasize the importance of Indian . £ 
than their ancestors had seemed to do when the ^^®stio^ j 
argued with Roger Williams. As was to be ®^pec*'®rioiitv 
clergymen took a hand, and in a famous debate with An^ . 
who was supported by West, Palmer, and Graham, Rev . 
Higginson of Salem told them that, " so far as I ^^^er«^i ^^ 
we received only the right and power of Govemment^j^^j.^ 
the King's Charter, . . . but the right of the Land anc ^j^ 

1 Report of Andros, In N. Y. Col. Docs. III. 722. 
> Andros Tracts, I. 91. 


we had received from God according to his Grand Charter CHAP, 
to the Sons of Adam and Noah, and with the consent of the ^ ^^^ 
Native Inhabitants." ^ 

When Randolph petitioned for Nahant neck, which be- 
longed to the town of Lynn, and for commons in Cambridge, 
the defendants were met with the statement that there was 
no such thing as a town in New England. Graham even 
went so far as to state that Boston was not a town. Ran- 
dolph, in answer to the Cambridge remonstrants, said that 
in case they could produce a royal grant to any person or 
persons and from such persons a legal conveyance to the 
town, and that it (the town) was sufficient to receive a grant 
of such lands, then he would cease prosecution. Otherwise, 
he conceived that the right still remained in the king and 
he prayed a grant. The attempt to seize Deer island in 
Boston harbor and Clark's island at Plymouth affected 
directly the rights of the colony and of its lessees. The 
number of writs of intrusion which were actually issued or 
suggested threatened endless suits, the trials of which would 
necessitate many long journeys and expenses of uncertain 
amounts for the defendants,^ though it was already apparent 
that it would be no easier to secure juries which would con- 
vict the accused in these suits, than it had been in the 
revenue cases which Randolph had brought to trial. Only 
the superior court, with Dudley as presiding judge, could be 
trusted to do the government's work. 

In March, 1688, by the exercise, it is said, of unusually 
strong executive pressure, a law was passed which prohibited 
the holding of town meetings oftener than once a year, and 
that for the election of town officers.^ Among the officers 
chosen should be the commissioner from each town whose 
duty it was to cooperate in the assessment of county rates. 
Selectmen, in boards of eight, should be elected for terms 

1 Andro« Tracts, I. 90, 124. Another theorist, presumably Samuel Sewall, 
■ought to clinch the point by the argument that Balaam's ass ** ingenously 
acknowledged that her master (though an infidel) had a Property in, and 
riC^t of Dominion over, her. Numb. 22, «%.'* 

« Ibid, 91-100 ; Toppan, IV. 171, 201-232. 

* Conn. Col. Recs. III. 427. 


PART of two years, one-half going out of office annually. The 
management of town affairs should rest wholly in the hands 
of these and the other town officers, town rates even being 
levied by them under warrants from the county justices, who 
were appointees of the governor and council. The object of 
this legislation was to deprive the towns, if possible, of 
their capacity to become active political centres, and thus to 
remove the most serious hindrance to the triumph of the 
government's policy. During the month following the 
passage of this act, and in imitation of a measure to which 
the people of New Hampshire had already resorted under 
similar circumstances. Rev. Increase Mather, president of 
the college and an active opponent of Randolph and Andros, 
vent in disguise on board ship and sailed as agent for 
England. Such was the prospect which confronted both 
rulers and ruled when Andros departed for New York and 
the Jerseys to receive their government and annex them to 
the dominion. 

This change was effected during the month of August, 
1688.^ By steps which the scanty documents of the time do 
not clearly reveal, the proprietors of both East and West 
Jersey had been induced to surrender the rights of govern- 
ment which they had so long struggled, though with indif- 
ferent success, to assert over their provinces. Dongan was 
ordered to resign the governorship of New York. A new 
commission and set of instructions had been prepared ex- 
tending the authority which Andros had been exercising in 
New England proper as far south as the Delaware river and 
the fortieth parallel, and, with the exception of Pennsylvania 
and the Lower Counties, comprising the territory westward 
to the South Sea and northward to the river of Canada. To 
this vast region the name of " Our Territory and Dominion 
of New England in America" was now expressly given. 
Francis Nicholson was appointed by the king to be lieutenant 
governor of the dominion, and New York was designated as 
his residence. In instructions to Andros, a proportionate 
number was added to the council from New York and the 

1 N. T. Col. Docs. ni. 637, 543, 653, 554, 567 ; Brodhead, Hist of New 
York, IL 612 et seq. ; N. J. Arch. II, 26, 87. 


Jerseys. The powers which had been exercised by the CHAP, 
governor general and council under the commission of 1686 ^^^ 
were extended over the entire territory or vice-royalty. 
The responsibility of Andres's position, as well as its dignity, 
was much increased by the fact that he now had the chief 
control over Indian affairs for all English America. One of 
the most important items of business to which it was 
necessary for him to attend on this visit was the holding of 
a conference with the Indians at Albany. 

The plan which Andros, under orders from the king, law- 
yers, and officials in England, was trying to execute was 
the complete consolidation of the colonies in this dominion 
under one all-embracing executive power. Had the plan 
succeeded, the tendencies originating in private enterprise, 
to which the colonies chiefly owed their origin, would have 
been crushed out and superseded. States rights would have 
been smothered in the cradle. Large vice-royalties, with 
much of the uniformity and autocratic rule which charac- 
terized French and Spanish colonization, would have taken 
their place. Commercial regulations would have been more 
strictly enforced. A uniform, and perhaps a more efficient, 
policy of defence would have been substituted for the crude 
and spasmodic efforts of localities or groups of colonies. 
The system would have been legal, for it rested upon the 
express will of the king.^ But it would have done violence 
to the natural instincts both of Englishmen and of the colo- 
nists. While the inhabitants of New York and New Jer- 
sey might have quietly submitted to it, in the long run it 
could have been maintained in New England only by mili- 
tary force. It is also true that the Dutch and English of 
New York were averse to union with New Englanders. 
There was no vital sympathy between the two sections. 
Only a long process of intercourse and growth could break 

1 See the argument of Gershom Bolkeley, in his ** Will and Doom,*' Colls. 
of Conn. Hist. Soc. III. He aims to prove that this was a more legal system 
than that which had preceded it in Connectient, and especially more so than 
the government which followed under the revived charter. But he ignores 
the element of legality which had its origin in the earlier history of Connect!- 
eat, especially that which had passed since the issue of the charter of 1662. 



PART down the barriers of ignorance and prejudice which then 
^ separated them. The autocratic spirit and methods of An- 
dros and James II could not really solve such a problem as 
that. At best only an artificial and forced union would have 
resulted from their efforts, and when the pressure was re- 
moved, the colonies would spontaneously return to their 
former relations. 

And in fact only the first formal steps toward the union 
of the colonies had been taken, when Andros was called back 
to Boston by reports that the Indians were becoming restive 
along the northeastern frontier. In the course of the pre- 
vious April (1688) he had visited that region and had taken 
possession of the trading house of Saint Castin, which was 
situated west of Penobscot bay. He had also taken steps to 
restore the estates of the English settlers which Palmer and 
West had attempted to seize the year before. Orders he 
also left for the repair of the fort at Pemaquid. The res- 
tiveness of the Abenaki Indians was now encouraged both by 
the intrigues of Saint Castin and by the influence of the two 
Jesuits, Jacques and Vincent Bigot, and when the winter of 
1688-1689 set in the English found themselves on the threshold 
of another Indian war. Andros, in spite of his efforts at first 
to check the rumors and maintain the peace by proclamation, 
was forced at last to make a winter expedition to the scene 
of disturbance along the Maine coast. A considerable body 
of troops, including a part of the regulars, was taken with 
him. Long winter marches were made through the forests, 
but the enemy, who as yet had committed no outrages of 
consequence, fled into the recesses and avoided conflict. 
Some of their villages and stores of provisions were de- 
stroyed.^ Andros remained in the region till early in the 
spring of 1689, superintending the building of a number of 
small forts. When he returned to Boston, garrisons were 
left at various points and all reasonable care was taken for 
the defence of the country. 

For our immediate purpose the chief significance of this 
episode appears in the rumors affecting the good faith of 

1 See the report of Andros, N. Y. Col. Docs. IIL 723. 


Andros, to which the activity of the Indians gave rise. So chap. 
intense had feelings of opposition to him and his government ^ 
become in Massachusetts, that the most false and malignant 
reports concerning his doings found ready acceptance. It 
was said, and many depositions on the subject were then or 
later ^ taken, that the governor had furnished Indians in 
several localities with arms and ammunition and had encour- 
aged them to attack the English. The statement in various 
forms was made that he was a papist and was already in 
league with the French. In this connection it was reported 
that he had sent for a French squadron and it was on its way 
to Boston.^ In this way many were encouraged to believe 
that, if the Andros government was permitted longer to 
exist. New England would be betrayed to the French and the 
savages would be let loose upon the settlements if they dared 
to resist. 

It is needless to say that these rumors were entirely false 
and that the conduct of Andros gave no justification for 
tJiem. And yet they arose naturally out of the uncertainty 
of the times, both in England and in the colonies, a con- 
dition which made Protestants fear that their faith might be 
ia danger. The presence of the Indians was an ever threat- 
ening peril, the magnitude of which would be greatly in- 
creased if their attacks should be supported by the French. 
Thus the forces which were largely to determine the course 
^oi English and American history for the next seventy years 
"^ivere gathering. We shall see how they affected colonies 
^^^utside New England, as well as those within that section. 
They certainly meant serious danger to a system of gov- 
ernment which had attacked established traditions so vig- 
^>rou8ly as Andros and his supporters had done. Though 
iis policy in no way directly imperilled Protestantism, the 
^elig^ous feelingfs, along with other motives, might easily be 
appealed to as furnishing the most effective stimulus to 
:irevolt. Andros, however, affected to put the charges aside 

1 See The Reyolntion in New England Justified, Andros Tracts, L 101 
el 9eq, See also Mather*s Vindication of New England, ibid, II. 60. Ran- 
dolph stated the tmth in reply, New England^s Faction Discovered, ibid, 207. 

s Andrew Tracts, L 119. 


with a contemptuous denial, and when Thomas Browne and 
John Goodnow ^ of Sudbury brought an Indian to him with 
the purpose of having his slanderous statements about the 
governor disproved, they were rudely treated and after- 
wards put under heavy bonds to keep the peace. This 
incident, which, in the popular mind, went to confirm the 
rumors, was closed at the beginning of April, a month which 
was to witness the collapse, at its very centre, of that impos- 
ing structure, the Dominion of New England. 

1 Ajidros Trftcto, 1. 107-109. .. 




The earliest direct information which reached Sir Edmnnd CHAP. 
Andros and his associates of the intended invasion of v 
England by WiUiam of Orange was in all likelihood con- 
tained in the circular letter of October 16, 1688,^ in which 
James II urged his subjects to lay aside all animosities 
and unite in the defence of himself and their country. 
The letter reached Andros at Pemaquid, on January 10, 
1689, and in accordance with the express command of the 
king he embodied the substance of it in a proclamation, 
strengthened by his own command to all subjects and officials 
to be careful in their own stations and to be ready to repel 
any foreign invasion should such be attempted. This was 
duly published, and by means of it Andros gave further 
evidence, if such were needed, of his fidelity as an official, 
of the military spirit by which he was dominated. 

In February or early in March news also reached the 
governor through New York that William had landed in 
England. His movements were probably hastened by this 
report, for he returned to Boston the middle or latter part of 
March.^ In this case, as in most others during the colonial 
period, authoritative advices from England reached America 
earliest by way of the island colonies. In February, 1689, 
copies of the declaration issued by the Prince of Orange on 
his landing in England reached the island of Nevis, and 
one or more of them came into the hands of a young resident 
of Boston, named John Winslow. He brought the paper 
to Boston, arriving there at the beginning of April.* He 
did not carry a copy of it at once to the governor, but went 
to his own home. In view of the state of feeling which 

1 Reprinted in Androa Tracts, I. 76, from Historical Magazine, X. 146. 
« N. Y. CoL Docs. m. 681, 723 ; Andros Tracts I, 88 ; Toppan, IV. 277 ; 
Palfrey, m. 670. * Andros Tracts, L 77, 78. 



PART then existed in Massachusetts — with which young Winslow 
J doubtless sympathized — Andros, when he learned what he 
had brought, naturally suspected that it would be used against 
the government. He therefore sent the sheriff to Winslow, 
who, without arresting him, brought him to the governor. 
When asked why he had not come and told the governor the 
news, Winslow excused himself on the ground that the captain 
of the vessel in which he came had already done so. Andros 
then asked him where the declarations were which he had 
brought. Winslow refused to tell, for the reason, as he stated, 
that the government would withhold from the people the 
news which they contained. Andros therefore told him 
that he was a saucy fellow, and bade the sheriff take him to 
the justices, by whom he was committed to prison. He, how- 
ever, is said to have been discharged the next morning.^ 

Though the information brought by the vessel from Nevis 
could not have been of sufficiently recent date to indicate 
decisively what success was to attend the expedition of the 
prince, it doubtless greatly stimulated rumor and the spirit 
of conspiracy and revolt. The clergy and former magistrates 
of Massachusetts, together with the body of church members 
and their sympathizers, heartily feared and hated the policy 
of which Andros and his group of officials were the exponents. 
Even in the council there were men who quietly shared in 
this feeling. The genuine New Englander always regarded 
\ the dissolution of the Massachusetts company as illegal and 
the entire regime which took the place of the company as 
unconstitutional. These events, though perfectly legal, were 
certainly in violent conflict with the past experience and the 
future aspirations of the people of New England. It is not 
probable that any course of conduct on the part of the gov- 
ernor or his subordinates would have reconciled the leaders 
and church members to the permanent continuance of this 
regime. New Englanders had always been accustomed, in a 
peculiarly intense and effective way, to manage their own 
affairs. Their spirit was the very opposite of that which 
submits quietly to autocratic rule, pays taxes which are 

^ See New England's Faction Diflcovered, attributed to Randolph, Andros 
Tracts, IL 209 ; Toppan, V. 67. 


imposed solely by the will of the executive, and obeys the chap. 
commands of some remote power. Their ideal was the . ^^' . 
restoration of the old charter, and an outbreak having this 
as its purpose would probably have occurred, even had James 
II quietly retained the English throne. The cause of Andros 
and that of James are often considered to have been identical, 
and they were often so regarded by contemporaries. But in 
reality Andros had points of disagreement with James, as did 
the people of Massachusetts. Andros was loyal to the autoc- 
racy of James, but he was at heart opposed to his religious 
policy. The people of Massachusetts had fervently welcomed 
the declaration of indulgence, but they loathed autocratic^ 
government. Andros was to them the representative, not( 
only of autocracy, but also of rig^d Anglicanism. It is there- 
fore conceivable that they might have conspired for his over- 
throw, while in general they remained faithful to the Stuart 
government in England. That in fact is what they were 
preparing to do in the early spring of 1689, before they knew 
what would be the issue of the crisis in England. On the 
other hand, had Andros been able to maintain himself in New 
England and James II in England until the latter felt that 
the time was ripe, with the aid of the French army and navy, 
to force Catholicism upon both England and the dominions, 
it is conceivable that Andros and the New Englanders would 
have been found in united opposition to the Stuart king. 
Their common Protestantism might have bound them together 
in this cause, as it did the Nonconformists and the Anglicans 
in England, and in the struggle it is quite likely that Andros 
would have become a defender of limited constitutional 

But, as usual, the initiative was now taken by the people 
of eastern Massachusetts and their leaders. The object of 
their projected uprising was the overthrow of the Andros 
government and the undoing of the work of the hated Ran- 
dolph, the arch-enemy of New England Puritanism.^ On 

^ In the pages of Cotton Mather's Parentator, or Life of his father, 
Increase Mather, are embalmed many of the epithets which doubtless, at the 
time, were applied to Randolph and his associates, culminating in the term 
** blasted wretch." 

VOL. ui — 2 s 


PART April 16 Andres wrote to Anthony Brockholls, *• There's a 
^* general buzzing among the people, great with expectation of 
their old charter, or they know not what;" and he expressed 
the hope that all magistrates would be careful in the per- 
formance of their duties and that the soldiers would be kept 
prepared for any emergency.^ He himself took up his resi- 
dence in the fort. Two days later, on the date of the mid-week 
lecture in the First Church in Boston, occurred the outbreak,^ 
for which preparation had doubtless been making for some 
weeks before. Early in the morning the streets at both ends 
of the town were seen to be filled with boys and men, armed 
some with firearms and others with clubs and hurrying as if 
to some rendezvous. Captain George of the frigate happened 
to be found on shore, and he was seized and detained as a 
prisoner in a house at the North end. The rioters now beat 
drums through the town and set up an ensign at the beacon 
as a warning to the surrounding country. In quick succes- 
sion BuUivant, Randolph, Foxcroft, and other leaders among 
the official clique were seized by small bands of insurgents 
and hurried to jail or places of detention. A few of the 
officials took refuge with Andros in the fort and so escaped 
immediate arrest. Dudley was at the time holding court on 
Long Island and was not arrested till some days later, when, 
on his return, he was found at the house of Major Smith in 
the Narragansett country. The feeling of contempt with 
which Dudley and Randolph were commonly regarded was 

^ Hutchinson, Hist of Mass. I. 332. A specially important statement 
concerning the origin of the uprising is made by Samuel Mather in his Life 
of Cotton Mather, 42. This is quoted in Andros Tracts, III. 145. See also 
the statement of Captain George, Colonial Papers, 1689-1692, 66. 

2 The three most reliable authorities for the events of April 18 and 19 are 
Byfield's Account of the Late Revolution in New England, Andros Tracts, 
I.; an anonymous letter written to Governor Hinckley, of Plymouth, and 
printed by Hutchinson in his History, I. 333. See also Account of the Late 
Revolution in New England, by A. B., first printed in Andros Tracts, II. 
191. The various references of Randolph to the events are in his letters, 
Toppan, IV. and V. Andros^s own account is in his Report to the Committee 
of Trade, N. Y. Col. Docs. IIL 722. The account by Riggs, his servant, is 
in Colonial Papers, 1689-1692, 92. This is also printed by Palfrey, III. 685. 
There is another brief account in a letter from Bristol in New England to 
Mr. Mather and others. See Colonial Papers, 1689-1692, 33. 


expressed by their lodgment in the common jail. The other CHAP , 
prisoners were spared that indignity. ^^^• 

While, on the 18th, the persons of the councillors and other 
officials were being seized, a militia company escorted Brad- 
street, Danforth, and a number of the old magistrates to the 
council house on King Street. From a balcony at its east- 
ern end about noon was read to the assembled people the 
^^ Declaration of the Gentlemen, Merchants, and Inhabitants 
of Boston and the counties adjacent."^ In this vigorous mani- 
festo the chief features of the recent misgovernment were re- 
viewed and denounced, and the supposed connection of the 
episode with an all-embracing popish plot, including an alli- 
ance with the French, was affirmed. After completing their 
powerful but extremely partisan indictment of the Andros 
government, the authors of the " Declaration " drew the prac- 
tical conclusion, " We do therefore seize upon the Persons of 
those few ill men who have been (next to our Sins) the grand 
Authors of our Miseries; resolving to secure them for what 
Justice Orders from his Highness, with the English Parlia- 
ment, shall direct, lest, ere we are aware, we find . . . ourselves 
to be by them given away to a Forreign Power, before such 
Orders can reach unto us ; for which Orders we now humbly 
wait." A chief share in the composition of this paper has with 
reason been attributed to Cotton Mather ; though the degree 
to which in power and dignity it exceeds his customary style 
indicates that he had the assistance of other hands. Its style 
also clearly indicates that it was not hastily prepared, and 
hence the document itself becomes a weighty evidence in 
favor of the supposition that the uprising was the execution 
of a program which had been planned days or weeks before. 

On this occasion, as on so many others in the history of 
the colonies, the weakness of an executive which has no sup- 
port in popular favor was vividly illustrated. It did not 
receive even so clear an illustration in England in 1642 or 
1688. At a single stroke Andros was deprived of his 
councillors, and, from his retreat in the fort, found his only 
reliance to be in a handful of soldiers and a single small 

^ Andros Tracts, L 11. So many of those who were in attendance were 
armed, that the author of the Account calls them ** the army.'* 


PART frigate. Curiously be first appealed to the Boston ministers, 
who, the Thursday lecture having been suspended, were 
zealously supporting the insurrection, either at the town 
house or elsewhere. But to the govemor^s appeal for a con- 
ference with them they returned a negative answer. By 
this time it was long past midday. The town was thor- 
oughly aroused. Hundreds of armed militiamen had come 
in from the surrounding country, and hundreds more were 
ready to cross from Charlestown. The leaders at the town 
house, having this force at their command, sent a message 
to the governor,! warning him, for his own safety and the 
quiet of the colony, to surrender himself and the govern- 
ment, to be disposed of according to direction shortly ex- 
pected from the crown of England. 

For a brief period it seemed as if Andros might be rescued 
by the marines from the frigate, which was now under the 
command of the lieutenant. It put out its flags, opened its 
ports, and made ready for action, the lieutenant, in spite of 
a caution from the imprisoned captain, declaring that he 
would die rather than that the vessel should be takea- 
John Nelson, at the head of the militiamen, now started to^ 
the fort to present the summons to the governor. Ju3* 
then a boat was sent from the frigate for the governor, bix^ 
this was seized by the insurgents and the governor's wa,^^ 
of escape cut off. Nelson's men quietly surrounded tli.^ 
fort on two sides, their superiority of numbers being 9^ 
great as to make resistance on the part of the weak garriso:*^ 
impossible. When the summons was first sent in to Andro^^ 
he refused to surrender until he had sent West, the deput^^ 
secretary who still remained with him, to the town hou^^ 
to consult with the leaders there. His appeal to therr^^ 
proved unsuccessful, and on West's return the governed ^ 
and those who still remained at his side " came forth f roc^^^ 
the fort and went disarmed to the town house, and froK^^»^ 
thence some to the close jail, and the governor under ^ 
guard to Mr. Usher's house." Randolph, it is said, w^*-^ 
called upon to perform the ceremony, under the order ^^^ 

^ Andros Tracts, I. 20. 


Andros, of the surrender of the fort. Thus ended the work chap. 
of the first day of the revolt. ^^' 

On the second day the insurgents directed their efforts 
against the frigate and the castle in the harbor. At first 
Andros refused to surrender the castle, but when he was 
told that if he did not yield to this demand he would be ex- 
posed to the rage of the people, he gave way. The surren- 
der was then made to a body of colonial militia and the 
garrison of royal troops was brought away. On the return of 
the men from the castle, all the ordnance in the fort and on 
shipboard was directed ujpon the frigate and Captain George 
was told that he must surrender her or she would be destroyed. ^ 

He at first protested, alleging that if he surrendered the crew 
would lose their wages, and declaring that " that devil 
Randolph," with whom he had long been on bad terms, was 
responsible for all the trouble. He was therefore permitted 
to go on board, strike the topmast and bring the sails on 
shore, which he did. The frigate, thus dismantled, was no 
longer dangerous and the formality of a surrender was 
avoided. Toward night, at the demand of the country 
people, Andros was removed to the fort, where he was 
placed as a prisoner under the charge of Nelson. Several 
of the most offensive councillors — Graham, Palmer, and 
West from New York — were imprisoned in the castle. At 
later dates Andros made two efforts to escape, hoping to 
reach New York and thence procure conveyance to Eng- 
land ; but in both instances he was unsuccessful, and after 
his second recapture he too was lodged in the castle.^ 

The third day of the uprising was devoted to the equally 
important work of providing a temporary government. In 
recent English history, to say nothing of New England itself, 
there were precedents which could be easily utilized for the 
purpose. The leaders who had been in counsel at the town 
house and who had addressed the summons to Andros called 
to their assistance twenty-two others, and these all associated 
themselves under the name of a ^^ Council for the Safety 

^ Bandolph wrote about alleged hard usage to which the ex-governor was 
auhjected while there. 


PART and the Conservation of the Peace/' Bradstreet was chosen 
^^- president of this body and Wait Winthrop was put in com- 
mand of the militia. An order was at once issued for the 
recall of a part of the forces from the frontier and by this 
step an opportunity was found to remove more obnoxious 

\ The real object of the moving spirits in the revolt had 
been to clear the ground for the reestablishment of govern- 
ment under the old charter. The sentiment throughout 
Massachusetts was strongly favorable to such a step. But 
Bradstreet was hesitating in disposition and far advanced in 
years. The council, moreover, did hot feel justified in tak- 
ing this step without a mandate from the people of the colony. 
Therefore they summoned a convention,^ to meet on May 9, 
and to consist of two delegates from each town, with two 
additional from Boston. This body at once interpreted the 
will of the people to be that the government which had been 
ousted on the arrival of Dudley's commission in 1686 should 
be reinstated. But its members did not bring with them 
definite instructions from the freemen to that effect. There- 
fore, as the magistrates were unwilling to act without this, 
the council of safety continued to act till the expression of 
the will of the towns could be sought anew. 

On May 22 the convention reassembled, with delegates 
from fifty-four towns.* Of these all but fourteen had in- 
structed their delegates in favor of the resumption of the char- 
ter. The majority of the council, however, still appeared to 
be opposed to the step. But after a debate of two days the 
opinion of the delegates prevailed, and the magistrates who 
had been chosen at the last election under the old charter 
were again intrusted with the charge of the government. 
Those whom they had recently associated with themselves in 
the council of safety, at the instance of the delegates were 
compelled to retire from office. Almost immediately an order 
arrived from England for the proclamation of William and 
Mary, which was obeyed with the greatest public exhibitions 
of joy. More detailed information concerning events in 

^ Mb. Rec8. of Mass. VI.; Palfrey, III. 68S et seq. 

3 See documents in Mather Papers, 4 Colls. Mass. Hist. Soa VIII. 708. 


Ehigland was brought by Sir William Phips, who arrived chap. 
while the celebration was in progress. A new house of ^ ^^' 
deputies for the general court was elected, and the entire 
body met for business on June 6. Two loyal addresses had 
already been sent to the king ^ in which a claim to share in 
the expected general restoration of charters was expressed. 
At the suggestion of the council the deputies presented 
articles of impeachment against Andros, Dudley, Randolph, 
Palmer, West, Graham, Farwell, and Sherlock. The admis- 
sion of the accused to bail, though applied for, was refused. 
Thus affairs stood until, as the result of petitions from the 
accused to the home government, a command came under 
the order in council of July 25, that they all should be sent 
for trial to England.^ The other New England colonies 
immediately followed the example of Massachusetts, so far 
as their respective conditions necessitated. Before the 
middle of May the legislatures of Plymouth, Rhode Island, 
and Connecticut, by spontaneous act of their former leaders, 
had been again called into existence under the old ^ forms. 
It was held that, as no decree had been issued against the 
charters of Rhode Island and Connecticut, their authority 
would revive as soon as the former government had been 
removed. Plymouth had no charter to either facilitate or 
hinder her course. The former executive officers, so far as 
they were willing to act, were therefore recalled and were con- 
firmed in their places by new elections. In scarcely an in- 
stance among these colonies was it necessary to arrest any of 
Andros's councillors or put them under bonds. The New 
York and British contingent in that body, who were such 
objects of distrust, were all caught by the uprising in Massa- 
chusetts and found their lodgment in her prisons. Thus 
quietly and promptly did affairs begin again to move in the 
old grooves. By all the colonies the king and queen were 
proclaimed and loyal addresses were sent. But the order 
that Andros and his fellow officials should be sent to Eng- 

1 Colonial Papers, 1689-1692, 42, 61. 
^Ibid, 106, 111 ; 4 Colls. Mass. Hist Soc. Vni. 711. 
* See Gershom Bolkeley^s discussion ot this in his Will and Doom, Colls, 
of Conn. Hist. Soc. m.